Google Terminated 2.3 Billion ‘Bad Ads’ in 2018

Source: Google blog.

Google claims to have taken down the accounts of one million advertisers in 2018, twice as many the year prior. Blocking 2.3 billion ads in 2018, Google encountered 28% less bad ads than the previous year, according to an earlier report.

Advertisers with products or services categorized as either scams, abuse, or malware, and using misleading claims and inappropriate or harmful content online were blocked from further access to the Google products for digital advertising, according to the report.

“We took down 2.3 billion bad ads in 2018 for violations of both new and existing policies, including nearly 207,000 ads for ticket resellers, over 531,000 ads for bail bonds and approximately 58.8 million phishing ads,” said Scott Spencer, Director of Sustainable Ads at Google. “Overall, that’s more than six million bad ads, every day.”


Ads represent 80% of the total Google revenue generated in 2018. For violating policies directed at misrepresentative, hateful or other low-quality content, Google blocked off ads from 1.2 million pages, over 20,000 apps, and nearly 15,000 sites in the Google Display Network.

“In all, we introduced 31 new ads policies in 2018 to address abuses in areas including third-party tech support, ticket resellers, cryptocurrency and local services such as garage door repairmen, bail bonds and addiction treatment facilities,” said Spencer.

In 2018, Google cooperated with WhiteOps and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to take down 3ve, the largest and most complex international ad fraud operation that exploited data centres, spoofed fraudulent domains, and fake websites to redirect 3 billion bid requests. It did this by imitating human audiences and premium publisher inventory, resulting in over a million compromised IP’s, over ten thousand counterfeit sites, and over a thousand data centre nodes. Details here.

“We’re proud to play a part in protecting an advertising ecosystem that works for everyone,” said Amanda Storey, Director of the Go To Market team in Asia-Pacific at Google.


“We release this report every year because we believe transparency is the best way to explain the challenge of keeping the ecosystem safe. Since it’s a global report, we don’t have specifics on APAC abuses. Broadly, we think that the same trends we’re seeing at a global level are playing out the same way here in APAC. I wouldn’t want to speculate on why bad actors do what they do — you’d need to speak to them!—but we’re constantly working to prevent them from abusing the ecosystem and profiting from their scams.”

Babar Khan Javed

Babar Khan Javed

Babar Khan Javed is a Correspondent for Branding In Asia.

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