Google Wielding the Banhammer on Malicious Ad Networks

Jamie Kavanagh
Jamie Kavanagh
May 18th, 2022

Malicious ads are one of the biggest reasons to use adblockers. As one of the world’s largest ad-related companies, it’s in Google’s interest to keep ads as clean and as palatable as possible.

Which is probably why the company is launching another crackdown on malicious ad networks.

Google removing malicious ads

Google has reportedly removed billions of ads and banned millions of advertiser accounts from their network over the past year.

The news comes from the company’s 2021 Ads Safety Report Google published recently.

In the report, Google says is blocked 3.4 billion ‘bad ads’ in 2021. It also restricted 5.7 billion ads, took action against 1.7 billion pages featuring ‘bad ads’ and banned over 5.6 million advertiser accounts.

The reasons were many, including:

  • Abusing the ad network
  • Featuring adult content
  • Infringing trademarks
  • Including inappropriate content
  • Promoting gambling

All the reasons are included within the report linked above.

New policies and procedures

Google says this was all made possible by a series of improvements to ads made over the last couple of years.

Those improvements include a new ads system that can detect ‘bad ads’, a new team of people to help manage ads and police them and a new series of policies and procedures to help control advertisers.

There was also the strikes system.

Launched last July, the strikes system began as a pilot and will presumably be made permanent once it proves its worth.

It has a very clear and transparent system of a warning and then three strikes. The strike triggers are clear, the penalties are clear and the end result should be clear.

Whether the implementation is so clear has yet to be seen, but everything seems logical enough.

Ad revenues

We’re not exactly sure how badly Google’s revenues have been hit through the increased use of adblockers, but we’re sure it’s significant.

If the company continues its good work eliminating bad ads from its network, it will go a long way to reassuring people that ads aren’t necessarily evil.

All Google will have to do then is do the same for the thousands of other ad networks out there it doesn’t control.

That may take a little more time!

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