Google Trust & Safety ad removals in 2017

Google headquarters in Mountain View California

Google headquarters in Mountain View California Stephen Shankland CNET

Bad actors have moved into the crytocurrency space to defraud internet users, and Google said it took down 3.2 billion ads that violated its advertising policies in 2017, almost double the number of ads it removed in 2016. Put another way, Google took down more than 100 bad ads per second past year. By this move, the technology company said it was able to block the majority of bad adverts experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impacted people.

There has been an increase in bad ads/sites removed in 2017 compared to 2016.

For example with page-level enforcement - Page level enforcement allows them to take action on even more violations at the source of the violation and minimise the revenue impact on legitimate publishers - as they take action on the page as opposed to the whole site.

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Of the 1.7 billion ads, 79 million were attempting to send people to malware-laden sites - Google removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites past year.

Google also revealed that it removed 2 million pages for policy violations every month in 2017.

Deceptive content is always changing as bad actors try to game the system.

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An example of this is their Adsense policy introduced in late 2016 to take action on ads on misrepresentative content. Google have had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites with dishonest content. Once a user clicks, they're directed to site that's trying to sell something like a weight-loss product, not a news story. Also included were 66 million "trick-to-click" ads in 2017 and 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software. "But in order to make money from Google ads, you have to play by rules - that means respecting the user experience more than the ads".

In a blog post published Tuesday, the company indicated that it will change its existing financial product restriction list in June this year, blacklisting ad content "including but not limited to initial coin offerings (ICO), cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice".

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