Google Shut Down 800,000 Advertisers & 130 Million Ads

Mar 15, 2012 • 8:42 am | comments (23) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Google Ad SafetyGoogle has uncovered a bit on how they manage ad safety with a new blog post yesterday afternoon.

Google announced they have shut down about 800,000 advertisers and blocked over 130 million ads from showing up on their network. They have come a long way in this regard and it is a constant battle between Google and rogue advertisers.

Google has documented some of the general steps they take to detect bad ads and advertisers.

(1) They monitor ad and landing page content to detect scams, malware and such.

(2) Manual reviews of ads after being flagged by an algorithm

(3) User generated spam reports

Here is the full video:

For those who can't watch it, here is the transcript:

0:05 Hi, I'm David Baker. I'm the head of ads policy engineering at Google.
0:10 We have a vested interest in creating the least intrusive and best ad experience for
0:15 our users. That means showing you the right ads when you want them, and doing our best
0:20 to never show you ads that can be harmful. That's why our ads engineering efforts are
0:24 so focussed on protecting the user.
0:27 This is a very difficult challenge given the number of ads online, and there are a lot
0:32 of malicious players. We've dedicated tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of engineers
0:37 and policy experts to building systems and tools to detect violations of our policies.
0:43 And when we find a scam, we don't just ban one ad, we ban the advertiser from ever working
0:49 with Google again. In 2011 out of the billions of ads that were submitted to us, we shut
0:55 down about 800,000 advertisers and more than 130 million ads for violating our policies.
1:01 But how do we find them?
1:03 Our first defense is automated systems that proactively catch scams by monitoring the
1:08 content of each ad and scanning the advertiser's website before the ad is ever shown. When
1:13 we detect a threat, our systems automatically seeks out and find similar websites and scams,
1:19 immediately broadening our reach.
1:21 And quite often, our experts personally review complex or suspicious ads that our software
1:27 has flagged, but which needed a real person to make a decision.
1:31 Advertisers, users and other authorities can report scams directly to our policy department,
1:36 and we'll respond as quickly as possible.
1:39 We're committed to developing the best experience for our users and remain committed to earning
1:44 your invaluable trust.

Forum discussion on Google+.

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Dave L

03/15/2012 12:47 pm

"rouge" advertisers?

Barry Schwartz

03/15/2012 12:48 pm

typo, fixed. rogue


03/15/2012 06:11 pm

 related span reports, i agree with Google....


03/15/2012 06:21 pm

I would like them to find and ban the so called internet marketing experts who proliferate this industry.

heart rate monitors watch

03/16/2012 11:32 am

I believe this is a good move by Google. Often i see irrelevant ads on sites and they are too much rich with banners and ads having very less informative content in them. So this is a good move to give what readers actually want. Thanks


03/16/2012 04:46 pm

+1 for google on this one...way to many irrelevant companies out there


03/16/2012 05:51 pm

What about people or bots that lead to spam conversions on the good ads? What's being done for that area? I understand that Google credits accounts for invalid clicks but isn't there a way to permanently remove sites that are on the Display Network which maliciously hit sites for their own personal gain?

Fede Einhorn

03/20/2012 07:54 pm

if that even really worked... we had our account suspended since they didn't understand what was full page ads apparently. however, you do a quick search now and there's over 4 ads about the same advertising solution... so rules do not apply for everybody.


04/11/2012 10:33 pm

 Really?  We should get keyword stuffed responses like yours instead?


04/11/2012 11:16 pm

 Lol the irony

Farky Rafiq

04/11/2012 11:39 pm

Didn't Google get sued for 500 million last year for pharmaceutical ads, for that kind of money I'm sure they had to do more to protect themselves and users of course! 


04/12/2012 12:40 am

ooh!! Its a tough time


04/12/2012 05:46 am

For sure there would be too many innocent websites between these 800 thousands of banned sites . And i'm not happy for them ! How can they pursue this mistake !

Uncle Demotivator

04/12/2012 07:17 am

That's right - and this is of course an PR spin so people would still consider Big G not evil.

Mark H

04/12/2012 08:05 am

 I like the idea of a secret cabal of advertisers plotting away fake ad scams  - all wearing too much make-up.  You should change it back to rouge.

begin website

04/12/2012 10:15 am

Google is tremendously refining its way of fair play . Although many of the advertisers seem to be consistently working on the correct ad process, we see its getting difficult for them to go by the rules of Google.

Anthony Trollope

04/12/2012 10:44 am

Good move, but many would say this has been long overdue. I'd like to see Google working closer with agencies like Ofcom (here in the UK) ensuring that ads being run across their network are not pushing boundaries that those in more conventional channels face scrutiny for.


04/12/2012 02:18 pm

Google are getting very strict in terms of adwords and keywords. But suppose its a good thing! But a bad thing for the sites that do not deserve it 


04/16/2012 01:13 pm

Time to be carefull regarding Google Ads!!

Ram Babu SEO

04/17/2012 05:01 am

this must  be applied in order to throw them away who are doing such activities to create it's BAD ads


04/18/2012 07:02 pm

Good to know that someone (humans) cares that the audience receives the relevant Ads.

Andre Morris

04/18/2012 10:07 pm

I've run into this a few times recently during the account creation process. For one advertising campaign it took us a month to jump through all of the hoops.. On the plus side, their support was receptive and helpful in getting all of the problems resolved.

Matt Collins

05/24/2012 11:26 pm

Absolutely. Legitimate businesses get wrongly caught up in this all the time and Google act as if they couldn't care less. Google's ad policies are complex, their procedures are purposefully opaque and Google applies rule changes retroactively so people often get banned for things that, at the time when they did them, were 100% permitted by Google's own policy.

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