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Helping publishers recover lost revenue from ad blocking

Helping publishers recover lost revenue from ad blocking

Today, the majority of the internet is supported by digital advertising. But bad ad experiences—the ones that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you get to the page—are hurting publishers who make the content, apps and services we use everyday. When people encounter annoying ads, and then decide to block all ads, it cuts off revenue for the sites you actually find useful. Many of these people don’t intend to defund the sites they love when they install an ad blocker, but when they do, they block all ads on every site they visit.  

Last year we announced Funding Choices to help publishers with good ad experiences recover lost revenue due to ad blocking. While Funding Choices is still in beta, millions of ad blocking users every month are now choosing to see ads on publisher websites, or “whitelisting” that site, after seeing a Funding Choices message. In fact, in the last month over 4.5 million visitors who were asked to allow ads said yes, creating over 90 million additional paying page views for those sites.

Over the coming weeks, we’re expanding Funding Choices to 31 additional countries, giving publishers the ability to ask visitors from those countries to choose between allowing ads on a site, or purchasing an ad removal pass through Google Contributor. Also, we’ve started a test that allows publishers to use their own proprietary subscription services within Funding Choices.

How Funding Choices works

Funding Choice gives publishers a way to have a conversation with their site visitors through custom messages they can use to express how ad blocking impacts their business and content. When a visitor arrives at a site using an ad blocker, Funding Choices allows the site to display one of three message types to that user:

A dismissible message that doesn’t restrict access to content:

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A dismissible message that counts and limits the number of page views that person is allowed per month, as determined by the site owner, before the content is blocked.

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Or, a message that blocks access to content until the visitor chooses to allow ads on the site, or to pay to access the content with either the site’s proprietary subscription service or a pass that removes all ads on that site through Google Contributor.

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On average, publishers using Funding Choices are seeing 16 percent of visitors allow ads on their sites with some seeing rates as high as 37 percent.

Ad blockers designed to remove all ads from all sites are making it difficult for publishers with good ad experiences to maintain sustainable businesses. Our goal for Funding Choices is to help publishers get paid for their work by reducing the impact of ad blocking on them, and we look forward to continuing to expand the product availability.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog

Google To Ban All Cryptocurrency Advertisements

With an update to its financial services-related ad policies Google has announced that Cryptocurrency related ads on its services will be banned. It seems as if the company is taking a stand against the deeply unregulated cryptocurrency field.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, advertising, All News, bitcoin, Blog, Crypto, Cryptocurrency, google, Web News

An advertising ecosystem that works for everyone

Digital advertising plays an important role in making the web what it is today—a forum where anyone with a good idea and good content can reach an audience and potentially make a living. 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. That’s why for the last 15 years, we’ve invested in technology, policies and talent to help us fight issues like ad fraud, malware and content scammers. Last year, we were able to remove more bad actors from our ad ecosystem than ever before, and at a faster rate.

We removed 100 bad ads per second

In 2017, we took down more than 3.2 billion ads that violated our advertising policies. That’s more than 100 bad ads per second! This means we’re able to block the majority of bad ad experiences, like malvertising and phishing scams, before the scams impact people. We blocked 79 million ads in our network for attempting to send people to malware-laden sites, and removed 400,000 of these unsafe sites last year. And, we removed 66 million “trick-to-click” ads as well as 48 million ads that were attempting to get users to install unwanted software.

New technology to better protect advertisers

Last year, we removed 320,000 publishers from our ad network for violating our publisher policies, and blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. We also introduced technology that allows us to better protect our advertisers by removing Google ads from individual pages on a website that violate our policies. Last year, we removed 2 million pages for policy violations each month. This has been critical in scaling enforcement for policies that prohibit monetization of inappropriate and controversial content. In fact, after expanding our policy against dangerous and derogatory content in April 2017 to cover additional forms of discrimination and intolerance, we removed Google ads from 8,700 pages that violated the expanded policy.

Fighting deceptive content online

Many website owners use our advertising platforms, like AdSense, to run Google ads on their sites and content and make money. We paid $12.6 billion to publishing partners in our ad network last year. But in order to make money from Google ads, you have to play by rules— that means respecting the user experience more than the ads.

Our publisher policies exist to help us maintain that balance, even as trends change online. For example, in recent years, we’ve seen the rise of scammers trying to take advantage of the growing popularity of online news to make money. We prohibit websites in our ad network from serving ads on misrepresentative content. Essentially this means that you can’t serve ads if you’re pretending to be a legitimate news website based in London when you’re actually a content scammer in a different city. In 2017, we found that a small number of publishers were responsible for the majority of these violations. Of the 11,000 websites we reviewed for potentially violating the misrepresentative content policy, we blocked over 650 of those sites and terminated 90 publishers from our network.  

More frequently, we see violations of our scraping content policy. This type of policy violation occurs when bad actors try to make money as quickly as possible by copying news or content from other sites. In 2017, we blocked over 12,000 websites for “scraping,” duplicating and copying content from other sites, up from 10,000 in 2016.

Does an ad with the headline “Ellen DeGeneres adopts a baby elephant!” make you want to click on it? You’re not alone. In recent years, scammers have tried to sell diet pills and weight-loss scams by buying ads that look like sensational news headlines but ultimately lead to a website selling something other than news. We suspended more than 7,000 AdWords accounts for tabloid cloaking violations, up from 1,400 in 2016.

New policies to tackle emerging threats

We’re constantly updating our policies as we see new threats emerge. Last year, we added 28 new advertiser policies and 20 new publisher policies to combat new threats and improve the ads experience online. This year, we updated several policies to address ads in unregulated or speculative financial products like binary options, cryptocurrency, foreign exchange markets and contracts for difference (or CFDs). We also updated our gambling ads policies to address new methods of gambling with items that have real-world value (e.g., skins gambling). And we will introduce a new certification process for rehabilitation facilities, allowing legitimate addiction treatment centers to connect with people in need.

Our work to protect the ads ecosystem doesn’t stop here—it’s ongoing. As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams. Improving the ads experience across the web, whether that’s removing harmful ads or intrusive ads, will continue to be a top priority for us.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog

The browser for a web worth protecting

The web is an incredible asset. It’s an engine for innovation, a platform for sharing, and a universal gateway to information. When we built Chrome, we wanted to create a way for people to interact with the magic that is the web, without the browser getting in the way. We created a browser that took up minimal space on your screen, made the omnibar so you could quickly search or get directly to a website, and built our pop-up blocker to help you avoid unwanted content. Since then we’ve also added features such as Safe Browsing, pausing autoplay Flash and more—all aimed at protecting your experience of the web.

Your feedback has always played a critical part in the development of Chrome. This feedback has shown that a big source of frustration is annoying ads: video ads that play at full blast or giant pop-ups where you can’t seem to find the exit icon. These ads are designed to be disruptive and often stand in the way of people using their browsers for their intended purpose—connecting them to content and information. It’s clear that annoying ads degrade what we all love about the web. That’s why starting on February 15, Chrome will stop showing all ads on sites that repeatedly display these most disruptive ads after they’ve been flagged. 

To determine which ads not to show, we’re relying on the Better Ads Standards from the the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving the experience of the ads we see on the web. It’s important to note that some sites affected by this change may also contain Google ads. To us, your experience on the web is a higher priority than the money that these annoying ads may generate—even for us.

The web is an ecosystem composed of consumers, content producers, hosting providers, advertisers, web designers, and many others. It’s important that we work to maintain a balance—and if left unchecked, disruptive ads have the potential to derail the entire system. We’ve already seen more and more people express their discontent with annoying ads by installing ad blockers, but blocking all ads can hurt sites or advertisers who aren’t doing anything disruptive. By focusing on filtering out disruptive ad experiences, we can help keep the entire ecosystem of the web healthy, and give people a significantly better user experience than they have today.

We believe these changes will not only make Chrome better for you, but also improve the web for everyone. The web is a vital part of our day-to-day. And as new technologies push the web forward, we’ll continue working to build a better, more vibrant ecosystem dedicated to bringing you only the best experiences.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog, Chrome
Improve customer calls with notifications from AdWords Express

Improve customer calls with notifications from AdWords Express

Last year AdWords Express launched goals to help your ads drive better results, like more in-store visits or calls. If you choose calls as your goal, we want to make sure you get the most out of every call.

Today we’re introducing call notifications, an easy way to give feedback on the calls you get through AdWords Express and to track any missed calls.

Get more relevant calls when you give feedback

When you finish a phone call with a customer who found your ad on Google, you’ll get a notification to give feedback on the call’s relevance. This will help AdWords Express better target your ads to the right customers.

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Giving feedback is quick and easy. Simply click to tell us if the call was relevant to you.

Connect with every customer who calls your business

Business owners and employees are busy and often can’t pick up the phone. In fact, we see that advertisers miss almost one in five calls they get from their AdWords Express ads. Now, if a potential customer calls while you’re working on something else, you’ll get you’ll get a push notification that allows you to call right back.

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You can call your potential customer back right from the notification screen.

Set up call notifications with the AdWords Express app

To receive call notifications, you need the AdWords Express mobile app. Once you have the app on your mobile device, simply go into Settings and opt-in for Account updates. You’ll instantly start receiving helpful alerts about the calls you get from your ads.

If you don’t have the AdWords Express mobile app, you can get it on Android or iOS.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog, Small Business

Improving our brand safety controls

From our founding days at Google, our mission has always been to make information universally accessible and useful. We believe strongly in the freedom of speech and expression on the web—even when that means we don’t agree with the views expressed.At the same time, we recognize the need to have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear. The intention of these policies is to prohibit ads from appearing on pages or videos with hate speech, gory or offensive content. In the vast majority of cases, our policies work as intended. We invest millions of dollars every year and employ thousands of people to stop bad advertising practices. Just last year, we removed nearly 2 billion bad ads from our systems, removed over 100,000 publishers from our AdSense program, and prevented ads from serving on over 300 million YouTube videos.However, with millions of sites in our network and 400 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In a very small percentage of cases, ads appear against content that violates our monetization policies. We promptly remove the ads in those instances, but we know we can and must do more.We’ve heard from our advertisers and agencies loud and clear that we can provide simpler, more robust ways to stop their ads from showing against controversial content. While we have a wide variety of tools to give advertisers and agencies control over where their ads appear, such as topic exclusions and site category exclusions, we can do a better job of addressing the small number of inappropriately monetized videos and content. We’ve begun a thorough review of our ads policies and brand controls, and we will be making changes in the coming weeks to give brands more control over where their ads appear across YouTube and the Google Display Network.We are committed to working with publishers, advertisers and agencies to address these issues and earn their trust every day so that they can use our services both successfully and safely.

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Posted by amiller in Ads, Blog, Google in Europe, united kingdom, googla ads, ronan harris, brand controls, google advertising