Google Brand Safety Controls: 3.2 Billion Ads Removed

Google Brand Safety Controls Blog

Following the introduction of the new Google brand safety controls in 2017, 3.2 billion ads have been removed by the organisation.

The past few years have seen scandal after scandal hit the online world. From extremist content to alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election – and, of course, the now infamous ‘fake news’ – the Internet has become a breeding ground for misleading propaganda and subterfuge. Add to that the increasing resourcefulness of cybercriminals and their ransomware attacks, and Google have had a tough time keeping on top of the many ways in which individuals and organisations have exploited their systems. The response was the Google brand safety controls, introduced last year and responsible for removing billions of ads that violated advertising policies.

Google Brand Safety Controls

The new Google brand safety controls were introduced last year with three key goals in mind: to deliver safer defaults for brands, to simplify the management of exclusions, and to enable more fine tuning. Let’s look at these one at a time: –

  • Safer defaults for brands gives brands greater control over where their ads appear, reducing the risk of their ads appearing on webpages that they don’t want to be on.
  • Simplified management of exclusions makes it easy for brands to dictate which websites they do not want their AdWords, Video, and Google Display Network campaigns to appear on.
  • More fine tuning gives brands the control they need to exclude higher risk content and ensure that their ads appear right where they want them to.

The goals of the new Google brand safety controls were clear and concise, but their effects have been wide-reaching.

3.2 Billion Ads Removed

Following the publication of the Google brand safety controls, 3.2 billion ads were removed in 2017. That’s almost double the 1.7 billion ads removed in 2016. This is a massive number, and goes to show the huge task that lies ahead for Google in trying to make the Internet a safer place.

Many of the ads that were removed were linked to malware, or initiated an unwanted software installation. Ads were also removed for advertising fake websites that were designed to mimic legitimate news sources, and clickbait ads that led to sales rather than news pages.

More changes are due, with Google targeting specific cryptocurrency and other dubious financial services advertising. Long story short? If you fall foul of the Google brand safety controls, expect your advertising to be removed pretty swiftly.

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Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.