According to its annual report on its advertising business, Google blocked 780 million bad ads last year, up from 524 million in 2014.
Bad ads refer to those that carry malware, deceive the user, or simply disrupt their experience by covering up content. Google also announced that it suspended 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts belonging to counterfeiters.
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Google fighting constant battle against bad ads
Another target were pharmaceutical ads, of which 12.5 million were blocked in 2015, up from 9.6 million the year before. Over 30,000 sites related to weight loss scams were also suspended.
Google had previously made progress in blocking counterfeiters, with bans decreasing from 82,000 in 2012, 14,000 in 2013 and 7,000 in 2014. However that number shot up to 10,000 in 2015.
Phishing is also a focus for Google, with almost 7,000 sites blocked in 2015. In addition to the blockages the company also introduced the Password Alert Chrome extension, which warns users if they are about to use their Google password on an unverified site.
Downloads from malware sites were down by 99% in 2015, and over 10,000 sites were disabled. In 2014 that number was 250,000. Over 17 million ads designed to look like system messages were deleted, down from 43 million in 2014.
Mobile internet becomes a priority in 2015
Mobile is an increasingly important arena given growth in the number of users accessing the internet via smartphones. Apple supports ad-blocking in its iOS mobile operating system, while Google has preferred to work on optimizing elements of mobile pages, including ads.
Over 25,000 mobile apps have had their ads blocked for violating Google policy, and 1.4 million sites and apps had ad applications rejected for policy violations. The new focus on mobile is revealed by the fact that the company’s 2014 report did not even mention mobile ad-blocking.
Alongside ad blocking, a number of other changes have been implemented. Among them are app install ads in search, the appearance of in-app content in search, mobile app demos in browser, the AMP project and others. AMP aims to optimize the mobile internet user experience by optimizing web pages, including the ads they display.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google Senior Vice President for Ads & Commerce, revealed that the company will focus on weight loss ads, malware and bots in the coming year.