Google removes 600 apps from Google Play for disruptive ads

Google removes 600 apps from Google Play for disruptive ads
Annoying, disruptive ads - who doesn’t hate them? Google does as well, it even went as far as to remove nearly 600 apps from the Google Play Store for violating its disruptive ads policy. Additionally, said apps have also been banned from ad monetization platforms Google AdMob and Google Ad Manager.

Google has recently developed a new machine-learning technology to detect out-of-context ads or masked disruptive ads and in consequence has removed apps who triggered that kind of ads from Google Play.

But how does Google define a disruptive ad and what type of ad is against Google’s policy exactly? Apparently, a disruptive ad is an ad that appears in unexpected ways, interfering with the usability of the device or resulting in inadvertent clicks. Such ads can also be displayed when the user is not in the app that contains the ad. For example, a full-screen ad displayed when you are attempting to make a phone call is considered to disrupt the usability of the device and is against Google’s policies.

This practice is harmful not only to users, but it can also harm advertisers and publishers. However, ill-meaning app developers are becoming even more savvy in creating new ways to incorporate such ads. Google has established dedicated teams, focused on fixing those situations, in order to limit the possibility of mobile ad fraud.

Other Google policy non-conforming ads are:
  • deceptive ads (it must be clear to the user which app is displaying which ad)
  • ads that appear on the lockscreen
  • inappropriate ads (that are considered inappropriate in regards to the audience of the app in which they appear - for example online dating ad in a math app for children) 

Google is working to improve its detection and prevention methods of malicious ads to make sure that users and advertisers are even more protected from this kind of bad behaviour in the future.

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