Google ‘bad ads’ drop to 2.3 billion

Number of bad accounts removed using machine learning has doubled to more than a million.

Google took down 2.3 billion “bad ads” last year, which is significantly down on the 3.2 billion it removed the year before.

The internet’s dominant ad company has also provided more detail about the kinds of ads it removed last year for violating its policies.

These include: 207,000 ads for ticket resellers, more than 531,000 ads for bail bonds and about 58.8 million phishing ads, while it removed nearly 734,000 publishers and app developers from its ad network.

However, Google could not provide an estimate for how big of a proportion 2.3 billion is against its total ad inventory that was served in 2018, although it is understood to be a very small minority.

Nor would it comment on how much income it made from those ads.

Google has been at the centre of multiple brand safety scandals in recent years, such as ads appearing next to terror videos and extremist content.

However, last year Google was able to identify and remove almost one million bad advertiser accounts using machine learning, which is nearly the double amount it terminated.

Because of the sheer volume of new web pages that are created every day, as well as videos posted on Google’s video-sharing platform YouTube, the company has tried to develop artificial intelligence-led solutions to moderation instead of just relying on humans.

Scott Spencer, director of sustainable ads at Google, said: “Google has a crucial stake in a healthy and sustainable digital advertising ecosystem – something we’ve worked to enable for nearly 20 years.

“Every day, we invest significant team hours and technological resources in protecting the users, advertisers and publishers that make the internet so useful.”

New Report Highlights the Importance of Brand Awareness in SEO

The links between social media marketing and SEO have long been debated, and while there’s no definitive connection between the two (Google, for example, doesn’t factor in Likes and shares on social platforms when ranking pages), social platforms do facilitate content sharing, and help drive traffic – there are various key SEO elements which are very much directly influenced by social media activity.

And now there may be another consideration in this. According to a new report from Red C Marketing, based on eye tracking of over 400 search journeys, 82% of consumers will select a brand that they’re already familiar with in search results, regardless of that brand’s actual ranking within the SERP.

As noted by eConsultancy:

“The study’s findings lend a new weight to the importance of brand trust, brand recognition, advertising, and other off-site factors when it comes to winning clicks on the search results page.”

Essentially, by utilizing social media, and other digital marketing platforms, to help raise brand awareness, you may be helping to influence search behavior, regardless of Google ranking.

There are a couple of key provisos within this – the first being that users in different life stages and age brackets behave differently in this regard.

For example, younger, pre-family participants are the most likely to choose a familiar brand in their search, with 91% making a selection based on familiarity, not on SERP rank. Older users – people with families of their own – referred to the familiar at a slightly lower rate (84%), while the darkly titled ‘post-family’ cohort were most influenced by search rank, with 67% of them opting to choose a brand they knew ahead of other considerations.

Red C search behavior study

Google Announces a Range of Search Updates to Mark its 20th Anniversary

This week marks the 20th anniversary of Google, the digital search platform that has become synonymous with information gathering.

It’s hard to imagine a world without Google on hand now, particularly given the growth of smartphones, providing the capacity to search anything at any time, helping with product research, location information and settling friendly debates.

To mark the occasion, Google has announced a range of updates to its search tools, each with varying degrees of SEO relevance. Here’s a summary of what’s been announced, and what they mean for your digital strategy.

First off, Google’s adding a new listing of previously related searches via new Activity Cards.

Google Activity Cards

The latest 2018 paid search benchmarks

Mobile vs Desktop average CTR

Knowing what device your potential audience is using for their search query is important. you need to make sure your desired landing pages are optimized for mobile use (not that it shouldn’t be anyway), but if you’re paying for a user’s click you want to be getting their conversion too. Mobile CTR was far higher in Q4 2017 than desktop averaging 10% CTR.

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Read full article here.