Google blocked 1.7bn advertisements in 2016, says director

Jan 28 2017 - 7:12pm

Mr Scott Spencer, Google’s Director of Product Management Sustainable Advertisements, said that Google blocked 1.7 billion advertisements in 2016 for violating its advertising policies.

Spencer said in a statement on Saturday in Lagos that the number was double the bad ads the company took down in 2015.

He said that Google achieved this because of its improved technology.

”If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.

”Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers.

”In July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users.

”In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than five million payday loan ads.

”Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster.

”For example, ‘trick to click’ ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realising they are often downloading harmful software or malware,” the director said.

He said that in 2016, Google’s systems detected and disabled 112 million ads for ‘trick to click’, which was six times more than in 2015.

According to him, a free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world.

He said that ads played a key role in ensuring that people had access to accurate, quality information online.

”But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They 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.

”We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google, in order to protect people from going for misleading, inappropriate or harmful ads,” Spencer said.

He commended its team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who were waging a daily fight against bad actors.

The director said that over the years, the commitment had made the web a better place for everyone, and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.

He said that in addition to its efforts and commitment, Google supported industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web.

According to him, while Google took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle does not end there.

”As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems.’’

He promised that the company would continue to protect people online and ensured that they got the best services  from the open web. (NAN)

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