Google Goes Blocka, Blocka, Blocka on 3.1 Billion Ads

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This Week
March 23, 2021
Google Blocked 3.1 Billion Ads in 2020
Time For Pubs to Find New Normal
Around the Water Cooler
Google Goes Blocka, Blocka, Blocka on 3.1 Billion Ads
The year 2020 really brought malvertisers out of the woodwork. From pandemic-related scams, to #BLM-related scams, to election-based scams, the bad actors were really putting in a high level of work. But bad actors be warned, Google ain’t playing with y’all.

In total, Big G blocked over 99 million Covid-related ads, wrote Scott Spencer, Vice President, Ads Privacy & Safety, on the company’s Ads & Commerce Blog. His post was an overview of the tech giant’s Annual Ads Safety Report.

But it wasn’t only fraudsters getting the block treatment, advertisers who acted against Google ad policies might have found their ads blocked as well. At least 70K ads were blocked for data collection and 452K personalized ads.There were also 6.4 billion restricted ads, with action being taken against 1.3 billion pages and 1.6 million domains. Let’s just hope that the majority of those were fake sites and not legit publishers hoping to monetize their content.
Why This Matters
It’s somewhat difficult to determine whether Google has gotten remarkably nimble at enforcement or if there is a significant surge in bad actors across the advertising ecosystem, especially when we factor in the fact that over the past 10 years there’s an influx of ads now running through Google’s pipes.

One thing is for certain, scammers are getting a lot more sophisticated, using cloaking to hide from detection while redirecting users to malicious content. For their part, Google was able to block or remove 867 million ads that tried to evade their systems by cloaking or other means.

For publishers and advertisers it’s best to read up on Google’s policies and get in front of their Mutuombo-like blocking defenses to make sure your ads and pages are up to par so that you can reach your goals. As well, publishers should look for partners that are on top of all malware tactics and continually update their exclusion lists with original source malware data instead of third-party data. And by all means, blocka the hell out of all of those losers who are allowing poor ad quality to run rampant throughout the ecosystem.
Time for Publishers to Find Their “New Normal”
In Australia, the government has passed a law to help compensate publishers for the outsized gravitational pull that Google and Facebook have over publisher content. The giants aren’t happy about it, and have threatened a variety of moves, including restrictions on their News features as a retaliation. In the US, congress is mulling over a bill that would ensure that publishers keep control over their content with safeguards that allow them to bargain collectively.

Of course, publishers shouldn’t wait for the government to act in order to ensure that they have control over their content and their revenue. Taking stock of their current advertising and content configuration can reveal opportunities for improvement and safeguard for growth in the future.

Take this quick CMS Fitness Test to help you get started.
  • How many third parties are plugged into your page? Think about which technologies and partnerships will change once third party cookies and mobile IDs are gone. Make a list of partners to talk to about new solutions that are future-proof and more efficient.
  • How many companies are bidding on each individual ad your site serves? Think about how this is affecting your site performance, such as creating site load lags and ad timeouts.
  • Who is taking a bite out of your earnings? Dig into where your demand is coming from and see where you can shorten the supply path in order to increase the return and create closer relationships with your buyers.
  • How hard is it to configure custom ad experiences for your advertisers? Ideally, you should be able to create customizable pages that are beautiful, fast to load and consider the placement of ads within content.
  • What are your options for improvement and growth? Look at options for bringing monetization and content management closer together. Do a “build or buy” comparison for upgrading your CMS and ad tech stack to work better together, from reporting and optimization, to design and SEO.

Learn more next week at the AdMonsters Virtual Publisher Forum.
Around the Water Cooler
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