Google reveals bad ads removal stats

Google reveals 224 million 'bad ads' removed in 2012

Google has released an infographic to show users how it tackled 'bad ads' in 2012. It revealed that 224 million posts were disabled as part of this effort, marking a 50 per cent decrease in bad ads compared with 2011.

The search engine defines bad ads as anything that violates their advertising policies. It cited common examples such as counterfeit goods, malware and spyware as potential causes for concern.

Its infographic also shows that 889,000 advertisers across 223 countries were removed completely from Google to ensure there would be no repeat offence. The highest number of bad ads were found in the USA, China, Japan and India.

These ads were spread across 78 languages, with Google revealing a handful of the more surprising ones such as Scots Gaelic and Esperanto.

Over the past year, Google also asserts it has shut down:

  • 123,000 sites concealing malware
  • 82,000 accounts attempting to sell counterfeit goods
  • 12,900 sites offering 'get rich quick' schemes
  • 8,600 accounts that have made phishing attempts

How Google combats spam

Back in April, Google revealed how it combats malicious advertising , outlining the "three pronged attack" it uses to root out offenders. This is done by checking on three levels, the individual advert, the whole site and finally the user account associated with the ad.

Google's ad inspection system will check for suspicious patterns that it will then 'flag up'. If nothing is found, the site will appear on Google, however if the content is flagged up it will be placed under review. At this stage, machine learning models and potentially a person will review the suspicious material before determining its fate.

These infographics, which seem likely to become an annual event, reveal the results gained through this system.

Google will hope that positive news such as this will help to arrest a dip in search engine market share. While they still maintain just over 90 per cent, the second half of 2012 in particular saw Bing attract many new users as Google's share fell.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: "Safety online will always be a big issue for users, so for Google to be able to show they have had success in this area is great for them. From a user perspective, it is likely to provide a lot of reassurance."