KEO Marketing

Be in the Know.

Google Continues to Crack Down on Scam Advertisers

Paid advertising programs like AdWords are a great way to ensure a lot of visibility to your website, thus presenting a huge potential revenue boost by allowing you to drive more traffic to your site. This can be a great tool for marketers who want to spread the word about their company’s products and services. But not surprisingly, scammers and not-so-ethical outfits also like driving a lot of traffic to their websites, as well, so they are fond of these advertising programs, too.

Google is aware of this, and is devoting an increasingly large amount of resources into spotting these bad advertisers and removing them from the programs.

The visibility provided by Google’s ad programs can be profitable, so they naturally have become very attractive to scammers who want to get in on the action. And even with such a huge crackdown on offenders, these unethical outfits can seem to be able to put up scam ads faster than Google can take them down. These ads can include everything from counterfeit products to illegal scams, along with sites containing offensive content.

A recent report released by Google showed that they were removing nearly a million bad ads every day in 2013, an increase of more than 50% from the previous year. But the number of individual advertisers booted dropped by a large percentage, which Google says is an indication that its safety systems designed to deter scammers are working.

Ads get booted or blocked for a variety of reasons, but one of the biggest problems seems to be sites peddling counterfeit goods. Google has made a concentrated effort to focus on these sites, and says they are seeing a decrease in the number of advertisers who are peddling counterfeit items. Google’s report notes they are also cracking down on sites that use “scammy ad-funded software, like toolbars, that provide a poor user experience.”

These efforts by Google mean good news for marketers, who are forced to compete with these bad advertisers for coveted space in prominent locations. Even just one or two bad ads appearing at the top of search results can divert a significant amount of attention (and traffic) from the other legitimate advertisers fighting for the same visitors.

At KEO Marketing, we handle paid search campaigns for many of our clients, and would be happy to help with your paid advertising needs.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.