As the number of people accessing the internet on phones and tablets grows every day, as does the number of advertisements that try to take advantage of users. To combat this problem, Google is constantly removing bad ads and putting new filters in place to try to rid the internet of such advertisements.

See also:

This is how Google finds Android malware

January 18, 2017

In Google’s annual report on its effort to fight bad ads on its AdSense platform, the company stated it is seeing a lot more of what it calls “self-clicking” mobile ads. What are self-clicking ads? If you’ve ever been scrolling through a web page on your phone, and you’re suddenly whisked off to the Play Store to download an app you’ve never heard of, a self-clicking ad is likely to blame. In 2015, it only found and deleted a few thousand of these ads on the service, but in 2016, Google found and disabled over 23,000 of these self-clicking ads. This is a huge surge compared to what the company found in 2015, and it proves that scammers are becoming more hip to pushing their schemes to mobile web devices.

Google’s blog post didn’t offer any concrete reasons for the rise of these kinds of malicious ads, nor did it offer any hints on how this big increase might be curtailed in the future. Obviously, if you encounter this kind of activity when you go to a mobile website, you can go to Google’s AdSense page to report a violation of its policies. Hopefully Google will try to be proactive and go after these kinds of mobile ads in the future before they do too much damage.

Google took down a total of 1.7 billion bad ads in 2016

Google’s 2016 “bad ads” report as a whole is well worth reading if you are interested in both the statistics of the online ads that violated the company’s policies, and Google’s ongoing efforts to get rid of them. The company said that last year it removed 1.7 billion such ads, which is over double the amount they did in 2015.

Google has expanded its AdSense policies to get rid of ads with misleading offers. That includes ads for payday loans, which it started enforcing in July 2016. Since then, Google said it got rid of over 5 million payday loan ads on its network.

Another example of bad ads, which can hit both PC and mobile web users, is the “trick to click” ad, which shows up looking like a system warning but in fact is a way for scammers to get people to download malware. Google said it got rid of 112 million of those kinds of ads in 2016, over six times the amount it found in 2015.

John Callaham
John was a newspaper reporter before becoming a technology and video/PC gaming writer in 2000. He lives in Greer, SC with his wife and five cats.
  • Cai

    Another reason why some of us use ad-blockers. We know you need to make an income, but we need to protect our computers.

    • Kievan Al-Hassan

      and for our sanity, I ran into a fair bit of those kind of ads over the past year and they’re super intrusive

  • Kevin Davis

    To the decent advertisers, sorry about your misfortune, the bad advertisers (including this very site) have ruined it for themselves and you. Self policing could be your friend.

    Full ad blocking, full time, FTW.

    • This is the way it is possible to make quite great profit per 30 days… You can do it on your own! After been without work for 6 months, I started off freelancing over this website and at this time i couldn’t be more joyful. After six months on my new job opportunity my regular monthly earnings are around 12k per 30 days…>>FACEBOOK.COM/For-UK-US-Australia-Canada-and-New-Zealand-1241554745928856/app/208195102528120/

      • Gadgetonomy

        Genius! Posting SPAM on an article about malware!

  • *Mackeeper, for no reason.

  • kill uc browser’s 9apps -_-

    • UC Browser is just a pile of ads by itself..

  • babaibhat

    I got similar scumbag ads in Android Authority site also. Most of the webpages are opened inside another app – Facebook, Google+ or even Google Now. I don’t think adblockers will help inside other App’s hosted WebView component

  • Kunal Narang

    I encounter these ads all the time. And it’s a nuisance to be honest. Glad that Google is finally fighting these ads.