Imagine this scene. You ‘re browsing the Internet for reviews on the best anti-virus software, when you see a number of sponsored ads on the right-hand side of your search results. One looks interesting, so you click on it and it asks for your information to learn more. Surely an ad for anti-virus software is harmless, so you enter your name and email and hit “enter.” You are then prompted to another screen and another that ask for your address, phone number and more. Sorry to say, but you ‘ve been scammed.
This scenario happens to the best of us, and it ‘s no secret why. All you need to advertise a business online is a Google account and a form of payment. This makes it easy for get-rich-quick and phishing scams to exist on the Internet without being easily detected. They can even be tagged as sponsored ads, adding to their initial credibility. The cons range from an attempt to gain personal information for identity theft to get-rich-quick scams to the selling of counterfeit goods.
Fortunately, Google has stepped up to the plate with their one-of-a-kind “ad cops” that track down bad ads. With 95 percent of its revenue coming from advertisements, it only makes sense to have control over this sector. The search engine giant uses a mix of real people and intellectually intelligent machines to identify bad advertisments. The software looks for certain words, trends and other red flags. For instance, ads that have to do with online gambling are immediately pulled as well as ads that are written in all caps or violate Google ‘s advertising policies.
What the machines don ‘t catch, the ad cops do. Their goal is to either delay the advertisements or shut them down completely, leading to frustrated scammers who hopefully find another way to unsuccessfully trick their victims. Even with Google ‘s smart attempts to hunt down scammers, that doesn ‘t mean the number of scams are decreasing. Scammers are always looking for new ways to lure in Internet users, so they tend to do the same scam, just with a different advertisement. That being said, the number of ads that Google has taken down has grown from 25 million to 224 million in the past 4 years.
So, here we are again giving Google a pat on the back for a job well done. Even though we can ‘t do away with bad ads entirely, it ‘s nice to know that Google has our backs. Scammers are getting more sophisticated, so it can sometimes be difficult to tell a scam from a legitimate ad. Thanks to the hundreds of Google ad cops that keep a watch out every day, we can expect fewer scams to slip through the cracks and end up next to our trusted search results.