This week, Google used its official blog to focus on its Internet advertising business. Specifically, the company says it is making progress in its fight to get rid of ads that offer counterfeit products for sale. It also says it is battling to remove other ads designed to distribute malware and spyware.
Google says it has spent tens of millions of dollars to set up automated systems that look for ads that violate its policies. Sometimes an ad is found via the system that looks suspicious but is not automatically shut down. If that happens, the ad is flagged so that a human at Google can take a look at the ad and make the final decision. Google users can also sent the company their own alerts on suspicious ads.
Some of the improvements Google has put in to go after malicious ads include checking for "sensitive keywords" that could signal a counterfeit ad. Google says it has put in new steps to speed up the manual review process and the company says it now takes about 24 hours to respond to an outside complaint about an online ad.
Google says that these efforts are working, claims that in 2011 it has reduced the amount of counterfeit or malicious ads on its sites by over 50 percent compared to 2010. Google also says that when an ad is banned, the advertiser behind it is also banned. In 2011, Google banned 800,000 advertisers and 130 million ads from its sites.