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Google Removed Over 3 Billion Ads, 5.6 Million Advertiser Accounts in 2021

The company aims to protect users by getting rid of abusive advertising behaviors.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google's campaign to crack down on advertising violations resulted in sweeping removals and account suspensions. On Wednesday, the company shared its 2021 Ads Safety Report, revealing that it eliminated 3.4 billion ads, restricted over 5.7 billion ads and suspended more than 5.6 million advertiser accounts. 

In a blog post, Scott Spencer, Google's vice president of product management, ads privacy and safety, said the search giant enhanced its enforcement strategies last year. In addition to updating policies for businesses and publishers, the tech giant implemented a new, three-strikes rule to address deceitful practices, inappropriate content, dangerous products and more. Repeat violators are subject to penalties, with the third strike leading to account suspension.

Of the 3 billion-plus ads that were removed, over 650 million were pulled for abusing the ad network, while over 280 million violated rules on adult content. Other reasons for removal were related to trademarks, gambling, alcohol, health care and misrepresentation. Google also prevented inappropriate ads from showing up on nearly 2 billion publisher pages, and over 600,000 individual publisher sites received enforcement action. 

The news comes on the heels of the company announcing an update to its online safety measures through which people can request the removal of their personal information from the search engine. Users can now ask Google to delete medical records, personal contact information and other identifiable details. 

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