Google declares war on evil advertisements


I like advertisements. Whether on the web, radio or television, I generally appreciate them for notifying me of new products and services. Think about it -- how else would you learn about a new breakfast cereal, video game or toothpaste, to name a few? Face it, our economy depends on ads.

Of course, not all advertisements are created equally. Some are misleading, offensive, and in the case of the web, can even deliver malware. Luckily, Google -- a company that profits from ads -- has our collective backs. Today, the search giant declares war on evil advertisements, and shares how it is fighting back.

"Bad ads can ruin your entire online experience, a problem we take very seriously. That's why we have a strict set of policies for the kinds of ads businesses can run with Google -- and why we've invested in sophisticated technology and a global team of 1,000+ people dedicated to fighting bad ads. Last year alone we disabled more than 780 million ads for violating our policies -- a number that's increased over the years thanks to new protections we've put in place", says Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP, Ads and Commerce, Google.

Ramaswamy further says "some bad ads, like those for products that falsely claim to help with weight loss, mislead people. Others help fraudsters carry out scams, like those that lead to 'phishing' sites that trick people into handing over personal information. Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we're able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown".

Google shares some of the types of ads that it is targeting.

  • Counterfeiters
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Weight loss scams
  • Phishing
  • Unwanted software

As someone who is a dedicated tech support person for countless friends and family members, I can't thank Google enough for this. While seasoned Internet users can generally know how to detect misleading or phishing-based ads, many inexperienced web users can take the bait. This can be a costly and embarrassing affair.

Google is taking a strong stance against ads in mobile apps too. If you are a developer and you choose to go against the search giant's stated rules and policies, you could end up losing a lot of potential advertising money.

In fact, in 2015 alone, Google removed access to over 25,000 existing offending apps. A shocking 1.4 million applications were rejected outright. One of the largest offenses is one that is a personal pet peeve -- putting buttons close to ads to encourage accidental clicks.

Speaking of accidental clicks, the company is working to end this scourge as well. Using special technology, Google can detect if a click was truly intended or accidental. If the latter, the advertisement won't launch and the advertiser won't receive a charge. So cool.

Regardless of your opinion of Google or advertisements, you must admit that its efforts in this regard are noble and worthwhile. Hell, the company has over 1,000 employees dedicated to this cause exclusively -- impressive. The only losers are the scammers and other bad guys. You know what? Good!

Photo credit: Sangoiri / Shutterstock

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