While it hopes to release the 2022 data soon, Google has disclosed that in 2021, it removed over 3.4 billion ads, restricted over 5.7 billion and suspended over 5.6 million advertiser accounts.
Google said it also blocked or restricted ads from serving on 1.7 billion publisher pages and took broader site-level enforcement action on approximately 63,000 publisher sites in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
These were part of the information released yesterday in Lagos, at the Google Ads Privacy Immersion workshop. The search platform noted that when it makes decisions about ads and other monetised content on the platforms, user safety is at the very top of the list.
It stressed that thousands of Googlers work around the clock to prevent malicious use of the firm’s advertising network and make it safer for people, businesses and publishers.
Google said this important work is done because an ad-supported Internet allows everyone to access essential information and diverse content, at no cost, adding that as the digital world evolves, “our policy development and enforcement strategies evolve with it, helping to prevent abuse while allowing businesses to reach new customers and grow.”
Accordingly, the tech giant said 652.1 million ads found as abuse on the network were removed; adult content 286.8 million; trademarks 136.9 million; inappropriate content 125.6 million; gambling and games 75.1 million; healthcare and medicines 60 million.
Others are financial services 58.9 million; copyrights 44.2 million; misrepresentation 38.1 million; legal requirements 32.6 million; dangerous products and services 20.6 million; alcohol 9.4 million; enabling dishonest behavior 7.9 million; personalised ads 2.2 million and counterfeit goods one million.
Google said it has continued to invest in policies, a team of experts and enforcement technology to stay ahead of potential threats, including launching new policies and updating existing ones. It disclosed that in 2021, a multi-strike system for repeat policy violations was introduced and added or updated over 30 policies or restrictions for advertisers and publishers including a policy prohibiting claims that promote climate change denial and a certification for U.S.-based health insurance providers to only allow ads from government exchanges, first-party providers and licensed third-party brokers.
On the restricted adverts, Google explained that while online advertising can be a powerful way to reach customers, but in sensitive areas, “we work hard to avoid showing ads when and where they might be inappropriate. For that reason, we allow the promotion of the content below, but on a limited basis. These promotions may not show to every user in every location, and advertisers may need to meet additional requirements before their ads are eligible to run. Note that not all ad products, features, or networks are able to support restricted content.”
As such, the search giant restricted 1.4 billion trademarks; other restricted businesses 511.4 million; financial services 223 million; health care and medicines 219.3 million; alcohol 128.5 million; adult content 126.1 million; gambling and games 108.1 million; legal requirements 105.7million and copyrights 68.6 million.
MEANWHILE, in his speech delivered virtually at the event, Managing Director, Google Africa, Nitin Gajria, said access to quality information has never been more important than now because it helps people search for answers, find ways to save money, make more sustainable choices, and stay safe and informed.
Gajria said for generations, ads have funded “our favourite content: from newspapers, magazines, and entertainment to the web. Today 66 per cent of the world is online. The ad-supported Internet model has become a remarkable resource for humanity, putting an explosion of tools, information, and content at our fingertips.”
According to him, as people manage more of their lives online, their concerns over how personal data is gathered, used, and shared have grown.
“In the last five years, search interest in private browsing increased by over 60 per cent in Nigeria, over 30 per cent in South Africa, and over 110 per cent in Kenya. Kenya is the 15th country in the world that searched most for private browsing in the last five years and the African country that searched most for the topic.
“2022 was the year Kenya, South Africa, and Nigeria searched most for private browsing since 2012. Make no mistake, this is important for businesses in Africa to acknowledge and respond to. People want great online experiences – delivered with the privacy they deserve, by brands they can trust. For advertisers in Africa, this presents a clear responsibility – but also an opportunity. Advertisers want ads that work, and to be able to measure what matters all while delivering respectful and private experiences online,” Garjia added.