Google Disapproved 134M Ads And Disabled More Than 800K AdWords Accounts In 2011

Like fighting spam and click fraud, finding and nixing bad ads on AdWords is a continually escalating battle. One telling stat the company revealed in a blog post today: 134 million. That’s how many ads Google axed in 2011, a 136% rise from the year before. Back in 2008, the company only disapproved 25 million ads.

The rise appears to be due to a combination of factors — first, there are just more bad ads out there.

“My interpretation is that the better we get, the faster we get at shutting them down, the more persistent they get,” David Baker, Google’s director of engineering for advertising told me.

Secondly, Google appears to be getting better at detecting them over time.

“Despite the rising numbers that you see, the bottom line is that things are working,” Baker said. “Things are improving over time.”

Google has been criticized for everything from gambling ads, to pharmaceutical ads, to ads related to human trafficking, with some saying the company is incentivized — by advertising revenue — to overlook such ads. But the company argues that many bad actors don’t pay anyway, because they use fraudulent credit cards, and, execs say, Google benefits more from a clean, trustworthy ad environment.

On the other end, advertisers complain about it taking too long to approve their ads, and a lack of transparency about problems.

“What I’m hoping is that by being a little more transparent, advertisers will understand what we’re doing and the challenges we have,” said Baker. “A good advertiser doesn’t want their ads to be seen next to bad ads.”

The good news is that Google has reduced the percentage of its ads that are bad, the company says. Though he won’t reveal exact numbers or percentages, Baker says Google reduced the percentage of bad ads showing by 50% between 2010 and 2011 — according to human benchmarking that the team does every two weeks.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords


About The Author: is Executive Features Editor at Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998.

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  • Nitesh Ahir

    this is worrying for google for business..
    it’s an fantastic data… :)

  • Matthew Liang

    I am afraid they just overacted on shutting down those AdWords account. The Chinese AdWords team isn’t helpful at all and don’t explain why they shut down an AdWords account. They keep repeating the same words from their policy documents which I read so many times and don’t think I fall into any of the “crime” they describe. And they even said you can’t use our service in your lifetime. That’s too severe punishment and they just killed some good guys. 

  • kumar kunal

    Google has to keep an eye on these sites and Ads to maintain the ongoing  trust of business owners (Advertisers) and the searchers (Users). 134 million is not a big amount for Google as it is earning $75,000 in just 60 seconds through Ad words only.

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