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Google blocked 780 million so-called “bad ads” in 2015, an increase of almost 50 percent from the previous year.

Google said that during 2015 it also suspended 10,000 websites and 18,000 accounts for selling fake goods and blocked more than 12.5 million ads that were trying to sell unapproved drugs and pharmaceuticals. It reported that 30,000 sites selling weight-loss products were blacklisted, as well.

The Internet giant’s definition of “bad” ads cover the likes of malware, the promotion of fakes or illicit goods, and intrusive ads that cover up content. While Google does lay out policies explaining what is and isn’t permitted, this doesn’t stop marketers or fraudsters from trying to bypass the rules anyway.

In 2014, Google disabled more than 524 million bad ads, and banned 214,000 advertisers. The year before that, Google removed 350 million bad ads and banned more than 270,000 advertisers. Google didn’t reveal how many advertisers in total it banned last year, but the company did serve a reminder of what it has coming up in terms of how it plans to stop spurious ads from appearing online going forward.


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Last year, Google said it blocked ads on 25,000 mobile apps, a large chunk of which were targeted due to marketers placing ads too close to buttons, thereby causing users to accidentally click on the ad. Back in June, however, Google revealed it was working on technology to establish when clicks on mobile ads were accidental. So if, for example, a click is too close to the edge of an ad, Google may assume it was accidental and not redirect you or even charge the advertiser for the click.

While Google pitches its campaign to block bad ads as being in the public’s interest, which it no doubt is, it also serves Google’s bottom line. If online consumers associate digital ads with frauds and fakes, they will stop clicking. And that would certainly not be in Google’s interests.

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