Tech & Science In 2017, Google removed 3.2B 'bad ads' and blocked 320K publishers, 90K sites, 700K mobile apps

07:15  14 march  2018
07:15  14 march  2018 Source:   TechCrunch

Google News Initiative announced to fight fake news and support journalism

  Google News Initiative announced to fight fake news and support journalism Google is announcing new efforts today to support the media industry by fighting misinformation and bolstering journalism, which will live under a newly announced umbrella called the Google News Initiative. Google is announcing new efforts today to support the media industry by fighting misinformation and bolstering journalism, which will live under a newly announced umbrella called the Google News Initiative. Google already offers something similar in Europe through the Digital News Initiative, but the Google News Initiative is intended to be a wider worldwide expansion of those kinds of efforts.

Google also blocked 320 ,000 publishers from its ad network (more than three times the 100,000 sites it blocked a year ago); along with 90,000 websites and a whopping and 700,000 mobile apps — all for violating its content policies.

Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch: In 2017 , Google removed 3 . 2 B ‘ bad ads ’ and blocked 320 K publishers , 90 K sites , 700 K mobile apps .

Google (File Photo)© Reuters Google (File Photo)

As the world's largest search engine and a digital advertising behemoth, Google has a lot to answer for when it comes to misleading or false information being spread using its platforms, both through ads and through content that is monetised by way of those ads. More recently, the company has been on a mission to try to set this aright by taking down more of the bad stuff -- be it malware-laden sites, get-rich-quick schemes, offensive content, or fake news -- and today it's publishing the latest of its annual "bad ads" reports to chart that progress.

Overall, it appears that Google has been nabbing more violating content than ever before -- a result, it says, of new detection techniques and a wider set of guidelines over what is permissible and what is not. "Wider" is the key word here: Google added 28 new policies for advertisers and a further 20 for publishers in 2017 to try to get a better grip on what's whizzing around its services.

Google throws $400 million behind news publishers

  Google throws $400 million behind news publishers Google is throwing hundreds of millions of dollars behind global news publishers in an effort to bridge the gap between media and digital platforms.Its ‘Google News Initiative’ launched on Wednesday includes a $US300 million ($390 million) investment from 2018 to 2021 to create new products and programs for news publishers, and a further $US10 million ($13 million) spend on improving digital literacy.

The company removed 320,000 publishers from its ad network for violating publisher policies, and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps . Of the 1.7 billion ads , 79 million were attempting to send people to malware-laden sites — Google removed 400

Google also removed apps with inappropriate content. Google on Tuesday announced that Google Play in 2017 took action against " bad apps " by eliminating apps and developer accounts from the platform. Advertisement . In Mobiles and Tablets.

Here are some of the big numbers out of the report:

  • In 2017, Google removed 3.2 billion ads that violated its policies around harmful, misleading and offensive content -- nearly twice as many as it did in 2016 when it removed 1.7 billion ads. Google also blocked 320,000 publishers from its ad network (more than three times the 100,000 sites it blocked a year ago); along with 90,000 websites and a whopping and 700,000 mobile apps -- all for violating its content policies.
  • Google last year also introduced page-level enforcement -- a way of evaluating content not just on an overall site but on specific pages within it, and then removing ads on violating pages. The new process has led to more than 2 million pages each month getting blocked from using Google ads.
  • It also broke out how it performed across specific categories of violations. Over 12,000 websites were blocked for scraping and using content from legitimate sites (a rise from 10,000 in 2016). And 7,000 AdWords accounts were suspended for "tabloid cloaking" -- presenting websites as news organizations when they are not (this is a big rise: only 1,400 sites were ID'd for tabloid cloaking in 2016).
  • Google also removed 130 million ads for malicious activity abuses, such as trying to get around Google's ad review. And 79 million ads were blocked because clicking on them led to sites with malware, while 400,000 sites containing malware were also removed as part of that process. Google also identified and blocked 66 million "trick to click" ads and 48 million ads that tricked you into downloading software.
  • In keeping with that last category of ads that trick users, Google is also making a much stronger effort at going after ads that misrepresent people, products or information in a misleading way to users (examples range from college students posing as lawyers, to fake "official" government seals, to dodgy medical claims and empty promises of discounts or other offers).
  • In November 2017 the company expanded and updated what falls under "misrepresentative content" and it said that it combed some 11,000 websites that it suspected of being in violation. It eventually blocked 650 sites and 90 publishers. This is actually not a great hit rate: the year before it identified 1,200 sites for violations and blocked 340 of them and terminating 200 publishers.

While all of Google's figures ultimately point to more content being identified and removed, what's less clear is what kind of proportion this represents when considering Google's overall ad inventory and the total number of pages, sites, and apps that run Google ads. As Google's business continues to grow, and as the number of apps and sites continue to expand -- and all of them have -- it means that the overall percentages that Google is identifying and shutting down might not be all that different year-to-year. For all we know, the proportion of bad ads that are getting caught might even be decreasing.

Google will let you play Android games before downloading them

  Google will let you play Android games before downloading them Google Play Instant is part of a redesign of the Google Play Games app.Google on Monday rolled out Google Play Instant in its Google Play store. You can tap on one of the games listed and play it without having to buy or download it first. Some of the initial games include Clash Royale, Words with Friends 2 and Final Fantasy XV.

Bloom’s blockchain credit app sees record signups after more bad news from Equifax. Upcoming Events. Google will launch a Chrome feature next year that allows a publisher to wall off content from ad block users unless they disable their ad blocker or pay up via Google Contributor (in which

[…] Google ads can be easily removed with lucky patcher. See how to block ads in Android apps . […] October 7, 2017 10:58 am. Ad Block is the legitimate use of this app . Hammers can murder.

Nevertheless, the need for Google to continue to work on improving all thisis an essential one -- not just because it's the right thing to do, but because it's business suicide not to. If quality is overlooked for too long, eventually people will gravitate away and find new, non-Google experiences to occupy their time.

Or, as Scott Spencer, Director of Sustainable Ads at Google, puts it in his blog post: "In order for this ads-supported, free web to work, it needs to be a safe and effective place to learn, create and advertise. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Whether it's a one-off accident or a coordinated action by scammers trying to make money, a negative experience hurts the entire ecosystem."

The bad ads reports comes in the wake of Google taking a much more proactive stance tackling harmful content on one of its most popular platforms, YouTube . In February, the company announced that it would be getting more serious about how it evaluated videos posted to the site, and penalising creators a through a series of "strikes" if they were found to be running afoul of Google's policies.

Google Images will display captions on mobile searches

  Google Images will display captions on mobile searches Google is now adding captions to image results in an effort to give images more context. Image captions are set to roll out globally this week on the Google app on Android and iOS, and in mobile web browsers. There’s no word yet on whether the feature will roll out to desktop browsers, which have a slightly different look than mobile web browsers.Now when you Google search for images, each image will have a caption in bold. The captions will be the titles of the web page where each image is published.

Among ad actions Google took in 2017 : Blocked 79 million ads for trying to send us to malware-infected websites . Banished 320,000 publishers from the AdWords network for violating ad policies. Blacklisted 700,000 mobile apps for violating ad policies.

The blocker will work on both desktop and mobile . Google is providing a tool that publishers can run to find out if their sites ’ ads are in violation and will be blocked in Chrome.

The strikes have been intended to hit creators where it hurts them most: by curtailing monetising and discoverability of the videos.

This week, Google started to propose a second line of attack to try to raise the level of conversation around questionable content: it plans to post alternative facts from Wikipedia alongside videos that carry conspiracy theories (although it's not clear how Google will determine which videos are conspiracies, and which are not).

Whether or not that flies, even as Google gets a grip on its current set of malicious and harmful ad and content types, there will always be more fish to fry when it comes to questionable content. Google's Spencer says that targets for this year include "several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs)."

The company will also put an increased focus on gambling and a better approach to working with organizations that are trying to treat addiction and other problems, but might fall afoul of checks for similar looking, but ultimately scam versions, of the same thing (likely in response to this particular controversy from February).

Google is now integrated into the iMessage apps drawer .
Google has announced that its app for iOS is introducing several new changes today. For starters, the Google app for iOS now supports an iMessage extension that lets users search for and share things like videos, businesses, and more when messaging others. In the example below, icons like “Food” or “Nearby” can be tapped to discover and then share locations directly within iMessage. To the right of the search bar is a dedicated button which switches things into GIF Search mode. If you already have the Google app, as long as you’re updated to the newest version, it should automatically appear in the iMessage apps drawer.

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