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Over 1.7 Billion Bad Ads Taken Down by Google Last Year

Google more than doubled the amount of ads it took down in 2016 from its platform compared to 2015, removing over 1.7 billion "bad" ads. Why take down so many ads? "Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google's partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself," said Scott Spencer, Google's Director of Product Management for Sustainable Ads.

"We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don't allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads," noted Spencer. "And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain."

Google's Strategy for Taking Down Bad Ads

In 2016 Google expanded their definition of what a bad ad is in order to remove any ad that is misleading or deemed to be predatory. In July, for instance, they started banning ads for payday loans, which are considered a bad deal for the end user who often are poor to begin with. Google said that in just 6 months since implementing the ban over 5 million payday loan ads were removed.

Google also improved their bad ad technology. "We beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster," said Spencer. "For example, "trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for "trick to click," 6X more than in 2015."

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