Over 3.4 million ads were blocked in 2021 by Google, the big tech company stated in a report released on Wednesday. Titled, ‘Ad Safety Report 2021’, the company claims to have restricted over 5.7 billion ads and suspended over 5.6 million advertiser accounts. Furthermore, Google blocked or restricted ads from serving on 1.7 billion publisher pages and approximately 63,000 publisher sites.
“When we make decisions about ads and other monetised content on our platforms, user safety is at the very top of our list. In fact, thousands of Googlers work around the clock to prevent malicious use of our advertising network and make it safer for people, businesses and publishers. As the digital world evolves, our policy development and enforcement strategies evolve with it — helping to prevent abuse while allowing businesses to reach new customers and grow,” Google said in the report.
The company claims to have invested in its policies, team of experts and enforcement technology to stay ahead of potential threats, including launching new policies and updating existing ones. To give perspective, last year Google had introduced a multi-strike system for repeat policy violations. Moreover, more than 30 policies or restrictions were added or updated last year for advertisers and publishers including a policy prohibiting claims that promote climate change denial and a certification for US-based health insurance providers to only allow ads from government exchanges, first-party providers and licensed third-party brokers.
Google will continue to roll out new innovations on features like “About this ad” menu to help users understand why an ad was shown, and which advertiser ran it. Interestingly, users can report an ad if they believe it violates one of Google’s policies or block an ad that they aren’t interested in. “We will continue to invest in policies, our team of experts and enforcement technology to stay ahead of potential threats. This report highlights the areas where we enforced the most in 2021,” the report stated.
With India being in the midst of the second wave of covid, Google claims to have extended their focus on preventing abuse in ads related to covid-19, with claims related to vaccines, testing and price-gouging for critical supplies like masks. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the company claimed to have blocked over 106 million ads related to COVID-19. Furthermore, Google supported local NGOs and governments with $250 million in Ad Grants to help connect people to accurate vaccine information.