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Better Ads Report 2015

Google’s 9 most annoying (and blocked) ads of 2015

If you spent just one second looking at every single ad that Google blocked in 2015, it would take you nearly 25 years to see them all.

Last year alone the search group disabled more than 780 million ads for violating its policies and guidelines. That’s a number that has increased significantly in the past year, almost 50%, thanks to new protections the company has put in place. So what do these phishy ads look like? In its annual report of bad ads, Google has listed out the nine worst offenders and by the sounds of it, they’re just getting started.

1. Counterfeiters
Google suspended more than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts for attempting to sell counterfeit goods (like imitation designer watches).

2. Pharmaceuticals
More than 12.5 million ads that violated its healthcare and medicines policy, such as ads for pharmaceuticals that weren’t approved for use or that made misleading claims to be as effective as prescription drugs.

3. Weight loss scams
Weight loss scams, like ads for supplements promising impossible-to-achieve weight loss without diet or exercise, were one of the top user complaints in 2015. Google responded by suspending more than 30,000 sites for misleading claims.

5. Phishing
In 2015, Google stepped up its efforts to fight phishing sites, blocking nearly 7,000 sites as a result.

6. Unwanted software
Unwanted software can slow your devices down or unexpectedly change your homepage and keep you from changing it back. With powerful new protections, the company disabled more than 10,000 sites offering unwanted software, and reduced unwanted downloads via Google ads by more than 99%.

7. Trick to click
Google got even tougher on ads that mislead or trick people into interacting with them—like ads designed to look like system warnings from your computer. In 2015 alone it rejected more than 17 million.

8. Accidental mobile clicks
We’ve all been there. You’re swiping through a slideshow of the best moments from the Presidential debate when an ad redirects you even though you didn’t mean to click on it. The company said it is working to end that. Google has developed technology to determine when clicks on mobile ads are accidental. Instead of sending you off to an advertiser page you didn’t mean to visit, it let you continue enjoying your slideshow (and the advertiser doesn’t get charged).

Bad sites and apps
In 2015, Google stopped showing ads on more than 25,000 mobile apps because the developers didn’t follow its policies. More than two-thirds of these violations were for practices like mobile ads placed very close to buttons, causing someone to accidentally click the ad. There are also some sites and apps that it chose not to work with because they don’t follow its policies. Google also reject applications from sites and mobile apps that want to show Google ads but don’t follow policies. In 2015 alone, the company rejected more than 1.4 million applications.

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