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A healthy advertising ecosystem
Monday, April 15, 2013
Online advertising helps to support the services we all enjoy and enables businesses to grow. The vast majority of our online publishers are terrific partners we love working with. But, as always in life, there are a few bad apples.
So, we invest a lot of time and effort in keeping them off our systems.
Our publisher partners are required to adhere to
, which we regularly update to deal with new issues. These policies cover how
how ads are displayed and how end users view them
, as well as what site content
. We also work to make sure publishers are
treated fairly and know the rules
Our main line of defense against these bad apples is technology — which enables us to monitor the clicks and impressions we receive, and also to scan both our partners’ sites and downloadable software. These tools operate at the click- and page-levels, so we can pick up bad content and bad practices (like artificial traffic) at a very granular level.
We have hundreds of employees around the world who review web pages, test our partners’ downloadable software, and prevent ads from showing on sites that violate our policies. Depending on the severity and persistence of the offense, they may stop ad serving on that page or site, or across the publisher’s entire account.
Advertiser Transparency and Controls
We believe that marketers should have transparency into where their ads are being placed, and control over where their ads appear. Our clients regularly get reports that show what their ads looked like in the context of a given page. We offer tools such as
DoubleClick Ad Verification
, which enable marketers to check whether their ad was served and seen. We also offer granular control, such as the
ability to buy various pre-vetted packages of inventory on high-quality sites
tools to exclude particular sites or categories
. This transparency gives advertisers the power to have their ads appear on the websites that are most appropriate for them.
Trends and recent developments
The numbers show we continue to make good headway. We have doubled the rate at which we review publisher inventory — enabling us to deal with bad sites and practices more quickly. In 2012, we found 17% fewer bad actors than in the previous year — even though we increased enforcement and tightened our policies.
Advertisers are recognizing that we offer a
high-quality environment for their ads
; this helps to support great experiences for everyone.
To illustrate one ongoing effort, I want to highlight our recent changes in the area of downloadable software.
Downloadable software, such as toolbars that operate in your browser, offers a wide variety of services to users. Our
have long guided our approach.
In recent years there have been increased reports of software applications that:
Unexpectedly change your default browser, search engine or homepage;
Clutter up your browser and screen, or interfere with your web browsing experience — for example unexpectedly inserting ads into your browser;
Make it very difficult to remove downloaded software from your device or to restore your defaults;
Load additional unwanted software applications to your device; and
Access personal information or infect your machine with malware.
For example, in the last 90 days, we have seen over 100,000 complaints about software that changed users’ browser settings or about toolbars that they couldn’t uninstall. We want to avoid these kinds of bad user experiences. So we recently updated
our policies and enforcement
to ensure that software accessing our services complies with the following rules. It must:
Be pre-approved by Google;
Offer one-click, complete uninstall;
Provide clear, full disclosure and transparency to people about what is being installed and what changes are being made to their devices;
Install itself on only one browser per download;
Be bundled with and distributed by only reputable parties who comply with our policies.
It’s simple — we don’t want our programs or services abused in ways that can harm users. We believe that our ongoing efforts to fight abuse will ensure our advertising ecosystem continues to work in the best interests of users, publishers and advertisers.
Posted by Vinay Rao, Ad Traffic & Publisher Quality Operations
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