In its official blog, Google reported that it nixed more than 134 million ads and 800,000 different accounts from Adwords in 2011 as part of its effort to ensure the content it serves is high-quality. While reducing low-quality results typically refers to penalizing companies using unethical SEO practices, Google’s David Baker, director of engineering for advertising, said the company has also made a concerted effort to target illegal operations using Adwords.
In the past, Google has been scrutinized by activist groups for ads related to illegal pharmaceuticals for counterfeit goods. Baker said that targeting these advertisers has also led Google to focus on any site that services malware or ad spam, as well as those with misleading website content.
While most of the organizations penalized in this manner are illegal operations, content marketing campaigns that include misleading claims could result in companies’ suspensions or complete bans from Adwords. Baker said that the company is becoming increasingly adept at determining which content may be misleading. As such, marketers must be sure that their website content, which refers to news articles as well as landing pages and product pages, is entirely accurate and developed with the user in mind.
A single instance of inaccurate content could result in Google removing a business from Adwords altogether.
Ad spam is, according to Baker, a major focus of his team’s ongoing effort, which is in line with recent Google updates to organic search ranking. Brafton has highlighted the Penguin algorithm, which directly targets websites abusing SEO best practices in an effort to boost their search rankings.