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Google claims it’s winning the war on bad ads

Google is at war. This time it’s not with Facebook, Apple, or any of the other tech giants. No, this time its target is bad ads.

According to an official blog post, the internet giant wants is looking to take the same approach to ads that appear on it and its partners sites as it does to spam on Gmail and malware on the Google Play Store.

Google claims that. “Like all other internet companies, we’re fighting a war against a huge number of bad actors”.

These bad actors, it says, range from “websites selling counterfeit goods and fraudulent tickets to underground international operations trying to spread malware and spyware”.

The company has made a number of changes which it claims it will “help ensure the ads you see comply with our strict policies”

If Google is to be believed, these changes are working. In 2011, for instance it claims that it “reduced the percentage of bad ads by more than 50%” compared with 2010″ it “shut down approximately 150 000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods in 2011″.

These policies, it claims, prohibit ads for illegal products such as counterfeit goods or harmful products such as handguns or cigarettes.

It also claims that it doesn’t “allow ads with misleading claims (“lose weight guaranteed!”), fraudulent work-at-home scams (“get rich quick working from home!”) or unclear billing practices.”

Google says that its foremost weapons in the war against bad ads are “technical architecture and advanced machine learning models” that “detect and remove ads for malicious download sites that contain malware or a virus before these ads could appear on Google”.

The internet giant claims to have made improvements to these and other elements of its ad removal system, including:

  • Improved “query watch” for counterfeit ads: While anyone can report counterfeit ads, we’ve widened our proactive monitoring of sensitive keywords and queries related to counterfeit goods which allows us to catch more counterfeit ads before they ever appear on Google.

  • New “risk model” to detect violations: Our computer scanning depends on detailed risk models to determine whether a particular ad may violate our policies, and we recently upgraded our engineering system with a new “risk model” that is even more precise in detecting advertisers who violate our policies.
  • Faster manual review process: Some ads need to be reviewed manually. To increase our response time in preventing ads from policy-violating advertisers, we sped up our internal processes and systems for manual reviews, enabling our specialists to be more precise and fast.
  • Twenty-four hour response time: We aim to respond within 24 hours upon receiving a reliable complaint about an ad to ensure that we’re reviewing ads in a timely fashion.