The number of ad accounts Google disabled for policy violations in 2020 increased by 70% to over 1.7 million, as per its Ads Safety Report 2020
In 2020, Google also added or updated more than 40 policies for advertisers and publishers
Google on Wednesday released its annual Ads Safety Report for 2020 which states that in 2020, globally, Google blocked 3.1 billion bad ads, including 99 million Covid-19 related ads from serving wrong information to users. The number of ad accounts Google disabled for policy violations in 2020 increased by 70% to over 1.7 million. It also blocked or removed over 867 million ads for attempting to evade its detection systems, including cloaking, and an additional 101 million ads for violating the misrepresentation policies.
In 2020, our policies and enforcement were put to the test as we collectively navigated a global pandemic, multiple elections around the world and the continued fight against bad actors looking for new ways to take advantage of people online, Scott Spencer, vice president – Ads Privacy and Safety, Google, said, in a blog. “Thousands of Googlers worked around the clock to deliver a safe experience for users, creators, publishers and advertisers. We know that when we make decisions through the lens of user safety, it will benefit the broader ecosystem. Preserving trust for advertisers and publishers helps their businesses succeed in the long term,” he added.
In 2020, Google also added or updated more than 40 policies for advertisers and publishers. In addition to blocking or removing approximately 3.1 billion ads for violating Google’s advertising policies, the company restricted an additional 6.4 billion ads.
As per the company, malicious and misleading ads related to the pandemic was a major concern throughout the year, including those for miracle cures, N95 masks due to supply shortages, and most recently, fake vaccine doses. As the number of Covid-19 cases rose around the world last year, so did the price-gouging of in-demand products and those promoting false cures. Preventing such behaviour, Google released Covid policy ads. It also launched a new policy to prohibit both ads and monetised content about Covid-19 or other global health emergencies that contradict scientific consensus.
In 2020, Google also tackled bad actors from using cloaking to hide from its detection, promote non-existent virtual businesses or run ads for phone-based scams or lure unsuspecting consumers with an aim to defraud them. For this, it introduced multiple new policies and programs including advertiser identity verification program and business operations verification program. Further, it Invested in technology to better detect coordinated adversarial behavior, allowing Google to connect the dots across accounts and suspend multiple bad actors at once. Moreover, it improved its automated detection technology and human review processes based on network signals, previous account activity, behaviour patterns and user feedback.
In April 2020, Google also introduced an advertiser identity verification program and is currently verifying advertisers in more than 20 countries. It has started to share the details ‘About this ad’ feature to inform people about the creators of the ads so that they can make more informed decisions.