Google employed automation and human effort in removing over 1.7 billion ‘bad ads’ in 2016 and banned 200 publishers.  This was over twice the volume of 2015 and illustrates the need for users to constantly keep safety in mind, as they use web resources.

Google purged itself of 1.7 billion bad ads last year – more than double the number it axed in 2015 – a fact which belies a problem set to swell unless more advertisers refuse to turn a blind eye to inflated numbers caused by ad fraud. The online behemoth’s latest update on its own efforts to curb ad fraud highlights the scale of a problem; for all Google’s efforts last year, is blocking a greater volume of ads just a consequence of there being more bad ads in the first place?

Expanded policies, better detection and sharper internal expertise investments in 2016 suggest it’s a conundrum not lost on the advertising business as the industry starts to understand its own involvement in ad fraud.  “While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here,” continued Spencer. “As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential for creating a sustainable, open web from which we all enjoy.”

To stress the point, Google pointed out that over 1,300 accounts were suspended last year for attempting to game its system by pretending to be news, a trick known as “tabloid cloaking”.  Any quality ad tech platform will have multiple layers of defence in place in the form of both human and technology review systems that work to eliminate bad ads.