Google reviews 2013 bad ad battle

350 million 'bad ads' removed from Google last year

Google has published its annual look at how it has addressed the problem of bad advertising.

The search engine claims to have removed more than 350 million adverts that compromised user safety in 2013, an increase of 130 million compared to their 2012 'bad ad' report. It attributes this to a growth in online advertising and its own enhanced detection system.

While more individual adverts were taken down, the number of advertisers blacklisted by Google saw a marked decrease, from 850,000 in 2012 to around 270,000 last year. Google says this is due to its improved safety procedures causing would-be scammers to look for easier targets.

One of its primary targets is counterfeiters, with attempts to engage in this kind of marketing on Google decreasing by 82 per cent and complaints decreasing by around 78 per cent as a consequence.

Writing on the Inside AdWords blog, Ads Engineering Director Mike Hochberg said: "We've allocated substantial technical, financial, and human resources to stopping bad advertising practices and protecting users on the web. Hundreds of our engineers, policy experts and others have dedicated their careers to this work."

Bad content also targeted for policy violations

Google has also tried to ensure that good online ads do not appear on low quality sites. In 2013, this involved blacklisting over 200,000 pages and declining three million AdSense join requests. In addition, around a quarter of a million accounts were removed for a string of policy violations.

As it did in 2012, Google has prepared an infographic to show exactly how it has improved the user experience by tackling the problem of low quality advertising.

Natalie Booth, head of search at theEword, said: "Google will be pleased to show users the extent it has gone to in order to protect them from bad ads. It will hope the fact that the figures show an improvement on last year will increase trust in the search engine and its practices."