The battle against bad ads getting past the AdWords review process rages on. Google announced in a blog post this week that the company axed 224 million bad ads in 2012. That’s up 67% from 2011.
The 2012 numbers underscore that there is no shortage of scammers, however they may also point to a sign of hope. The number of banned advertisers plateaued from 2011, rising just 8%. Last year the number of banned advertisers increased by 70%. That leveling off could mean Google’s efforts are paying off and scammers aren’t flocking to AdWords the way they used to. Last year, Google announced several changes to their detection systems and began being more transparent about the ad quality team’s efforts to block scammers and counterfeiters.
As most paid search managers can attest, not all ads that are disapproved come from bad actors. Syntax mistakes can trigger disapproval, and ads in categories such as knives and OTC medications often have to go through manual review. Given the growth of the web and the year over year growth in paid search, the continued climb in ad disapprovals is likely in part due to the fact that there is higher volume of ads and more activity. As long as there is growth in paid search it’s likely there will continue to be both more bad ad attempts and ads that simply violate policy.
Below is Google’s breakdown of the bad ads landscape in 2012. For the complete infographic, click here.