In a recent “Ads Safety Report”, Google revealed that it removed over 3.4 billion ads, restricted over 5.7 billion campaigns and suspended over 5.6 million advertiser accounts in 2021.
The technology company also blocked and restricted advertisements from featuring on 1.7 billion publisher pages and took “broader site-level enforcement action” on around 63,000 publisher websites.
“We’ve seen an increase in fraudulent activity during the pandemic,” Google said.
“In 2021, we continued to see bad actors operate with more sophistication and at a greater scale, using a variety of tactics to evade our detection. This included creating thousands of accounts simultaneously and using techniques like cloaking and text manipulation to show our reviewers and systems different ad content than they’d show a user.”
The multinational giant has pledged to continue its efforts in combating this fraudulent behaviour by asking advertisers to verify their identities in the future. It will also actively identify “coordinated activity” between accounts using Google’s network.
“We are actively verifying advertisers in over 180 countries. And if an advertiser fails to complete our verification program when prompted, the account is automatically suspended,” Google added.
The company also blocked up to 106 million ads and 500,000 pages that violated policies against harmful health claims related to Covid-19. These contained false claims with regards to vaccines, testing and price-gouging for critical supplies like masks.
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In the ad safety report, Google also gave an update of its response to the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“We acted quickly to institute a sensitive event, prohibiting ads from profiting from or exploiting the situation. This is in addition to our longstanding policies prohibiting content that incites violence or denies the occurrence of tragic events to run as ads or monetise using our services.”
“We’ve also taken several other steps to pause the majority of our commercial activities in Russia across our products — including pausing ads from showing in Russia and ads from Russian-based advertisers, and pausing monetisation of Russian state-funded media across our platforms.”
Looking ahead to 2022, Google intends to ensure that “a trustworthy advertising experience” is created and that transparency continues to exist in its ad spaces.
Google concluded: “We’ll continue to address areas of abuse across our platforms and network to protect users and help credible advertisers and publishers.”
“Our new ‘About this ad’ feature is rolling out globally to help people understand why an ad was shown and which advertiser ran it.”