Google removes 5.2 billion 'bad ads' to keep users safe

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 29 2023 08:08 PM | Updated as of Mar 29 2023 08:33 PM

MANILA - Google said at least 5.2 billion ads were removed in 2022 in a bid to keep online users safe. 

On top of that, over 6.7 million advertiser accounts were suspended, according to Google's annual Ads Safety Report.

Google said it has also blocked or restricted ads from serving over 1.5 billion publisher pages and across over 143,000 publisher sites. 

"Bad actors use online advertising to cause harm as well. We’re committed to keeping you safe online by building products that are secure by default, private by design and put you in control. This promise extends to your online ad experience, which is why we're committed to blocking or removing bad advertisements," Google's Ads Safety and Privacy Director Alejandro Borgia said in the report.

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Some 5.2 billion bad ads were removed in 2022. Chart: Google Ads

To create a safe ads experience for users, Google said it has also updated 29 advertiser and publisher policies.

Google is also rolling out an "Ads Transparency Center" or a searchable hub of all ads from verified advertisers where users can see what they have run on the platform, the formats and more. 

"The policy creation cycle is continuous and as we detect new issues that are emerging on the internet we're constantly refining on our policies and creating new policies when necessary," Borja said in a separate virtual briefing.

"We will continue to invest in policies, our team of experts and enforcement technology to stay ahead of potential
threats," he said. 

Google said users can also use the following tips and tools to stay safe online: 

  • Report a bad ad - users can report ads if they think they can be harmful or if they violate policies. Reports can be made through the My Ad Center
  • Learn more about the ads online - the three dots next to an ad on Search, Youtube and Discover leads to the My Ad Center which will provide basic information about the advertiser. Users can also personalize their ad experience here, Google said. 
  • Spot malicious behavior and double check URLs - Google said it blocks over 100 million phishing attempts per day. Users must remain vigilant for ads with urgency, those requesting for money, asking for information and those asking to click a link, among others. 
  • Take additional steps to secure accounts - using Google Password Manager and enrolling in 2-step verification are encouraged to add extra layer of protection


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