In 2017 Google removed a whopping 3.2 billion bad ads that violated advertising policies from its display network. That’s 100 ads per second. Yep, it’s big.
The majority of these were the scum of the web – malware laden phishing scams, ‘click-to-trick- ads and ads attempting to get users to install unwanted software. The huge increase in deleted ads is thanks to continuing investment in technology and revamps of policy to regulate publishers and protect the user experience. And now it’s not just scammers these updated policies have in sight.
Thanks to a huge rise in questionable publishers, Google has taken the lead of Facebook and is implementing updated policies to restrict the advertising of unregulated or speculative financial products.
Yep, that’s right. Financial markets are set to see a change in the playing field, as Google will begin restricting ‘the advertisement of Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex and financial spread betting’. On top of this, ads for binary options and synonymous products as well as cryptocurrencies and related content will be cut off.
The changes will come into effect in June 2018, and will require advertisers to register with Google to receive a certification in order to advertise Contracts for Difference, rolling spot forex and financial spread betting through AdWords.
Certification registration opens in April 2018 and will only be available in certain countries with each having their own regulations. All advertisers will need to comply with Google policies to receive and retain their certifications.
Some of the compliance requirements include:
– Being licensed by the relevant financial services authority in the country/countries being targeted
– Comply with any and all relevant legal requirements
– Ensure both their ads and ad landing pages comply will existing AdWord policy
For the Australian market advertisers will need to be licensed by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and will need to make sure they adhere to any local legal requirements including risk warnings.
The new policy has taken its lead from Facebook’s January 2018 announcement that it was to ban all ads promoting digital currencies, with Product Management Director Rob Leatheren explaining “we’ve created a new policy that prohibits ads that promote financial products and services that are frequently associated with misleading or deceptive promotional practices, such as binary options, initial coin offerings and cryptocurrency”. A run of policy and Facebook algorithm changes attempting to preserve and protect users.
The change in policy for Google is part of ongoing efforts to conserve the integrity on the free web, and protect user experience.
Google’s Director of Sustainable Ads, Scott Spencer explains “In order for this ads-supported, free web to work, it needs to be a safe and effective place to learn, create and advertise. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Whether it’s a one-off accident or a coordinated action by scammers trying to make money, a negative experience hurts the entire ecosystem.”
For those thinking they’ll try get around the policy, beware. If last years blitz on scammers is anything to go by, simply failing to adhere to all policy can see you kicked off the display, whether you’re a legit business or not, with Google removing a massive 2 million pages for policy violation each month in 2017.
While plenty of cryptocurrency operators and marketing agencies have already felt the pinch of the lock out, the impact the upcoming financial restrictions will have is yet to be seen. One thing’s for certain, if you’ve got a stake in the display game regardless of industry you should be watching this space; there are plenty more policies on the way, with rehabilitation services next on the Google hit list.
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