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Google removes 350M 'harmful or deceptive' ads in 2013

updated 11:48 am EST, Fri January 17, 2014

Ad removals up by 59 percent

Google has published its yearly report on "Busting Bad Advertising Practices," noting that ad removals have surged by 59 percent to reach 350 million in 2013. The search company suggests improvements to detection systems and growth of online advertising overall have contributed to the rise in harmful and deceptive ads.

"To put that in perspective, if someone looked at each of these for one second, it would take them more than ten years to see them all," the company writes in a blog post.

Interestingly, the number of blacklisted advertisers has been slashed from 850,000 in 2012 to 270,000 in 2013. Google again credits improvements to screening technology that are said to have pushed scammers to search for "less-secure targets."

"As these numbers have declined, we're pleased to report that we've also banned fewer bad advertisers for counterfeit violations," the company adds. "Last year, we banned approximately 14,000 advertisers for trying to sell counterfeit goods - a decline of more than 80 percent compared to 2012."

Aside from outright scams and illegal merchandise, Google also boasts of progress in reducing the prevalence of "scammy, ad-funded software," such as toolbars, that result in a worse user-experience.

"This is an ever-evolving and ongoing fight," Google cautions. "Bad actors are relentless, often very sophisticated and will not rest on their laurels. But neither will we."

by MacNN Staff



  1. winstef

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 02-12-06

    Out of how many?

  1. Flying Meat

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: 01-25-07

    It's a good thing no one ever looks at ads. :

  1. Charles Martin

    MacNN Editor

    Joined: 08-04-01

    Here's a crazy idea, Google: stop being so money-hungry that you let the bad ads IN *in the first place.*

  1. smacker

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-24-03

    Two words: Adblock Plus. Haven't seen ads in years. Anywhere. Best add-on ever.

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