Every day, Google Inc. disables more than 2.1 million ads for violating its policies, and it disabled so many in 2015 that if you spent even one second looking at each of them, you’d be doing nothing but viewing ads for 25 years, Google shares in a blog post.
Needless to say, Google has become incredibly efficient at intercepting bad ads. Not ads that are poorly written or target the wrong demographic, but ads that actually have malicious intent. Google not only has designed algorithms to recognize these ads, but has hired a team of more than 1,000 people to help eliminate them.
While many of these ads are flagged because they ultimately intend to deceive the viewer, some legitimate advertisers may find themselves caught up in Google’s safety net. While Google doesn’t share any estimates of how many “false positives” occur from its policy enforcement, it’s reasonable to assume there’s some small percentage. But Google has given some guidance on what types of ads it disables, so if you’re looking to make good ads, here are some things you should definitely avoid:
- Don’t mislead people. It seems obvious, but it might sometimes be tempting to catch a user’s attention by using words or images that are usually not associated with ads. Just don’t do it, as Google’s policy will ban anything that might be thought to resemble a system warning.
- Don’t count on accidental clicks. Some previous studies show that almost all clicks attributable to mobile ads are made accidentally. It’s not OK to count on that happening, or to place your ad in a way that would obscure other content or otherwise trick someone into clicking on it without intending to do so.
- Don’t bundle software. If you’ve ever had your web browser’s default settings unexpectedly hijacked after you installed another unrelated piece of software, you know just how frustrating unwanted software can be. If you are trying to get people to install an app on any platform, make sure you’re being totally clear on what software is being installed on what effect it will have on the user experience.