Google obstructed or removed 3.4 billion ads in 2021, equal to its yearly Ads Safety Report, which was released today. Google moreover tripled the number of account-level suspensions for advertisers in the last year.
3.4 billion ads obstructed or removed. The top three categories of bad ads were abusing the ad network (652 million); sultana content (287 million); and trademark (137 million). Here’s the full orchestration from Google:
How does 2021 compare to prior years?
Earlier this year, Microsoft reported it had removed more than 3 billion ads in 2021. That ways Google and Microsoft combined to remove nearly 6.5 billion ads last year.
5.7 billion ads restricted. Certain ads can’t be shown to every searcher in every location. These ads all fell into the category of either legally or culturally sensitive. By the numbers:
- Trademarks: 1.4 billion
- Other restricted businesses: 511.4 million
- Financial services: 223 million
- Healthcare and medicines: 219.3 million
- Alcohol: 128.5 million
- Adult content: 126.1 million
- Gambling and games: 108.1 million
- Legal requirements: 105.7 million
- Copyrights: 68.6 million
5.6 million forerunner finance suspended. Google reported that bad actors operated “with increasingly sophistication and at a greater scale, using a variety of tactics to evade our detection.”
One challenging example: bad actors created thousands of finance simultaneously and used techniques like cloaking and text manipulation to show Google’s reviewers and systems variegated ad content than what a user would see.
Publisher enforcement. Google moreover obstructed or restricted ads from serving on 1.7 billion publisher pages, and took broader site-level enforcement whoopee on well-nigh 63,000 publisher sites in 2021.
The top three categories Google took action: sexual content, dangerous or derogatory, and weapons promotion and sales. Here’s a chart:
Ongoing fight versus COVID misinformation and abuse. Google obstructed ads from running on increasingly than 500,000 pages for violating its policies versus harmful health claims related to COVID-19.
- This included claims related to vaccines and testing, as well as price-gouging on hair-trigger supplies (e.g., masks).
- Google has obstructed increasingly than 106 million COVID-related ads since the pandemic began.
2022 Ukraine ad removals. Although this report covered 2021, Google provided an update on how many ads related to the war in Ukraine have been obstructed so far in 2022: 8 million.
- Earlier this year, Google paused ads from showing in Russia and ads from Russian-based advertisers.
- The visitor widow that it has removed ads from increasingly than 60 state-funded media sites from its platforms.
Why we care. These “bad actors” are bad for searchers, advertisers and publishers. This big picture view is a unconfined (and moreover somewhat shocking) reminder of how many threats there are for legitimate advertisers who want to reach their target audience. This moreover provides increasingly context to why Google is pushing nonflexible for advertiser verification and instituting things like its three-strikes policy.
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