Google crackdown after surge in 'bad ads' is paying off

15 March, 2018, 05:45 | Author: Gladys Mathis
  • In 2017 Google removed 3.2B ‘bad ads’ and blocked 320K publishers 90K sites 700K mobile apps		
		
	Ingrid Lunden

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This blanket policy change also includes a ban on cryptocurrency related services which include ICOs (initial coin offerings), crypto-wallets and crypto related trading advice. Certification is only available in certain countries.

Facebook announced in a statement that it was doing away with crypto ads because there are "many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs, and cryptocurrencies that are not now operating in good faith".

While some cryptocurrency advertisements are for legitimate companies, such ad platforms have become hotbeds for cryptocurrency-related scams.

"We've seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it's an area that we want to approach with extreme caution", said Scott Spencer, Google's director of sustainable ads, in an interview with CNBC. Facebook introduced a crackdown on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency marketing in January 2018, as part of an effort to prevent their users from being exposed to misleading or deceptive promotions regarding altcoins, ICOs and cryptocurrency trading.

After these announcements, the price of bitcoin slid below $9,000 for the first time this week, according to CoinMarketCap.

A spokesperson for Google said the policies of the company will attempt to anticipate the same. However, it is not clear if the drop was triggered by Google's decision alone or by broader market factors as well. Worldwide, a number of banks including Lloyds, Capital One, Bank Of America, Citibank and JP Morgan have already barred their customers from purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with their cards.

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Fears about the highly risky nature of the crypto-currency marketplace have been fueled by the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from crypto-currency exchanges in brazen hacking incidents.

Google has not released a statement regarding why it made this latest move, but there could be two reasons behind it. Given the high-level of investor interest, "stopping the flow of information via advertising is analogous to putting a Band-Aid on a crack in a dam", McCann said.

She said: "In 2017, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, which is more than 100 bad ads per second".

"We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites previous year".

The move follows a similar step by Facebook earlier this year.

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