Google Disabled 524M Bad Ads Last Year

Google disabled more than 524 million bad ads and banned more than 214,000 advertisers in 2014.

According to Google’s Bad Ads Report, released this morning, the search giant also disabled 700,000 sites in 86 different languages. The annual report shares insights on the eradication of bad ads, which Google defines as those touting counterfeit or harmful products, such as firearms and cigarettes, or making misleading claims.

“We have a team of analysts who work around the clock to protect users, and continue to hone our detection technology to identify bad ads and stop bad actors as it’s a vital part of keeping our ads ecosystem clean,” wrote Vikaram Gupta, director of ads engineering at Google, in a blog post.

Bad ads are identified by a combination of expert analysts and automated systems. Google’s detection has gotten sophisticated enough that last year, the search engine banned 7,000 counterfeit goods ads, down from 14,000 in 2013 and 82,000 in 2012. In addition, 250,000 sites hiding malware were removed from the network.

Weight loss and travel are specific industries that seem to spawn a surplus of scams. Last year, TrustInAds.org – a group including Google, AOL, and Yahoo, among others – collectively removed more than 2.5 million ads related to weight loss scams or bogus dietary supplements.

Over the summer, Google’s analytics also team flagged a set of accounts for vacation rental ads. The ads looked legitimate enough to the naked eye, but turned out to be a scam; the rental properties don’t actually exist.

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