Google blocked billions of ads and millions of ad accounts last year for violating its rules

Google Ads
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Primakov)

Google has revealed in its annual Ads Safety Report that it blocked or removed 12.7 million advertiser accounts in 2023 – nearly double the figure from the previous year.

In addition, the tech giant removed 5.5 billion ads for violating its policies, a slight (but still noteworthy) increase from the prior year.

Google emphasized the critical role it plays in safeguarding the digital advertising ecosystem in a bid to maintain a healthy and safe ad-supported internet.

Google took down billions of ads in 2023

The report also highlighted the significant impact of generative AI on the digital advertising industry. GenAI introduced new changes to the Google advertising ecosystem, from image editing to performance optimization.

However, in the months that followed Google’s deployment of AI tools across its ads business, workers started to worry about job security, with the company announcing several layoffs early this year affecting various departments.

Internally, Google’s deployment of LLMs has enabled safety teams to review and interpret content more quickly, improving enforcement on more complex topics like Unreliable Financial Claims (get-rich-quick schemes).

Overall, the company’s efforts to fight scams and fraud across online platforms have intensified, and it has been busy updating policies, training more workers, and enhancing detection techniques. However, online advertising can be a lucrative business and more companies are looking to benefit from ads on even more platforms.

It was recently reported that Apple has been considering introducing ads across more of its apps, such as News and the newly released Sports app, after testing its own AI solutions.

Duncan Lennox, VP and GM of Ads Privacy and Safety at Google, commented about the seemingly long road ahead: “The fight against scam ads is an ongoing effort, as we see bad actors operating with more sophistication, at a greater scale, using new tactics such as deepfakes to deceive people.”

Lennox summarized, stating that Google’s investments in policy, detection, and enforcement should help the company on its quest to make the advertising landscape safer.

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Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!