If you wanted to get some perspective on the scope of content enforcement that large digital platforms deal with day-to-day, this will help. Today, Google has published its 2022 Ads Safety Report, which outlines all of the ads and websites that Google took action against over the last year.
And the total amount of actions taken is pretty amazing.
As per Google:
“Our continued investment in policy development and enforcement enabled us to block or remove over 5.2 billion ads, restrict over 4.3 billion ads and suspend over 6.7 million advertiser accounts. And we blocked or restricted ads from serving more than 1.57 billion publisher pages and across more than 143,000 publisher sites, up from 63,000 in 2021.”
5.2 billion ads. That’s ‘billion’, with a ‘b’, which is also up 2 billion on ad removals in 2021.
Among the key reasons for blocking those billions of ads were trademark violations, legal requirements and misrepresentation within the promotions.
The top reason, however, as you can see, is ‘Abusing the Ad Network’, which essentially relates to spammers and scammers trying to use the system to dupe users.
Google also restricted a range of ads in these categories:
While Google also took action against a range of websites taking part in its AdSense program, which enables publishers to display Google ads on their sites.
The top reasons for these restrictions related to inappropriate and harmful content on these sites.
It’s an interesting overview of the online ads landscape, and the scale of activity required to protect users from scams and abuse. Google’s also removed over 50,000 YouTube channels and AdSense accounts created by China-based influence operations, among others, which is a whole other element of its content enforcement activity.
Spammers and scammers are always evolving their tactics, and as you can see, they remain extremely prolific.
The numbers underline the need for platforms to say vigilant, as they work to shield their audience.
You can read Google’s full 2022 Ads Safety Report here.