Digital Marketing is big business. Unfortunately, this also means there are many attempts to circumvent rules and mislead other internet users. Google recently published its bad ads report, which clearly lays out the search engine’s recent policy against “misrepresentative content”, also known as fake news, and how it ruins the online experience for everyone. Also included in the report were details about the 1.7 billion total ads taken down in 2016 for violating Google’s policies, which is over twice the amount of bad ads removed in the previous year.
Since the fall of 2016, Google has banned 200 publishers from its ad networks permanently for promoting misrepresentative content. In total 540 sites were reviewed and some action was taken against 340 of those websites.
So what exactly does Google consider to be “bad ads”? In the report, Google defined bad ads as those that “promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.” Where most of these ads are created with bad intentions, some advertisers get penalized because they lack training and therefore are not familiar with the rules.
Below are a few examples of ads that Google identified in the report to be “bad ads”:
- Payday loan ads: 5 million payday loan ads were removed from Google networks since being banned in July, 2016.
- Ads for illegal products: Black Hat Marketers know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss supplements—are not allowed by Google’s policies, so they try to trick the system into letting them through. Last year, Google took down almost 7 million bad ads for intentionally attempting to trick Google’s detection systems. This year so far they have removed 68 million bad ads promoting illegal health care products. In addition, 17 million ads were removed for illegal gambling violations in 2016.
- Misleading ads: Google removed 80 million ads in 2016 for deceiving, misleading, and shocking users.
- Mobile ads: If you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. Google is now cracking down on this and has disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking mobile ads last year alone.
- Bad sites: Google penalized over 75,000 “bad sites” in 2016. That is, sites which bad ads point to.
- Ads containing malware: About 900,000 ads were disabled for containing malware.
All in all, if only 1 second was spent taking down each bad ad in 2016, it would take a total of 50 years to get the job done. Fortunately for Google it has automated technologies and a large team keen on protecting user experience and making it a positive one.
Here at DMAC, we realize that the majority of PPC advertisers create bad ads unintentionally. Very often, they copy and paste the wrong URL. Other times, they accidentally upload the wrong video appended to the wrong title. And those are just a few examples of unintentional “bad ad” cases.
If your site was penalized for carrying “bad ads”, you benefit from reversing the penalty as quickly as possible. Our Corporate Trainers are specialized in such cases. Resolving the issue is one step, however you might want to prevent this from happening again. We provide customized corporate training sessions in the field of Digital Marketing and PPC to upgrade your internal marketing division.
To book your customized corporate training session today, click here.
Alex Noudelman earned his Honours B.A. in History and Political Science in 2007 from York University in Toronto, ON. He went on to complete his Advanced Certificate in Adolescent Education in 2008 at D'Youville College and became a certified teacher in Ontario in January, 2009. He's been working in the digital marketing industry since 2010 and enjoys writing to intrigue his readers and educate them about the fundamentals. Feel free to contact Alex Noudelman if you have any questions or would like to see a specific topic covered on this iRISEmedia blog.