Alarming New Study Accuses Google Of Placing Thousands Of Search Ads On Questionable Websites

Search engine giant is being accused of placing scores of search ads across non-Google websites, as proven by a new and alarming Adtech report by Adalytics.

The news has brought on a huge wake-up call for brands that have invested millions to have their ads displayed on Google. But little were they aware of Google’s silent and controversial behavior that has really left the tech world stunned.

Seeing the location of such ads in compromising places that are far away from the search engine has made so many media buyers upset who couldn’t believe their ads were put against questionable websites like those that were pirated, showing adult content, as well as pages found in countries like Iran and Russia. The latter were said to be under sanctions for their display of banned content.

The lack of transparency is now raising more eyebrows regarding how Google was able to pull off the stunt undercovers, assuming no one would notice. And the fact that so many brands were taking steps to prevent ads from popping across such places like adding them to a blacklist and that still not working really has people baffled.

From what can be seen right now, ads that were or are being displayed on Google are also being found on third-party networks, without many realizing. Therefore, the Android maker is monetizing both ways, without the consent of brands. So to sum it up, ads running on Google’s Search Partner network may also be found in other places online.

In the past couple of years, Google has allowed for a default switch that forces advertisers to portray ads on its GSP network, whether they opt for it or not. And that’s probably where the huge problem lies.

Hence, if you’re an advertiser who purchased some kind of marketing campaign with the company’s ads, you would be required to forcibly opt out or be prepared to see your ads running in such questionable places.

What’s even more interesting is how the tech giant fails to put out a list in public in terms of where ads are being displayed. But the latest analytics report has really opened many people’s eyes in terms of the thousands of locations found across the GSP network.

All such locations were deemed to be falling out of the search engine’s list of places for showing ads that are boldly delineated across its Terms and Conditions.

Adalytics also showed how Google could earn money from such places through a simple click of a button for such ads. And that is why Google is being blasted for not providing enough transparency to prevent such actions from taking place.

When you dig down deep into such a report, you can see how nearly 47,000 pages out of a grand total of 51,000 were linked to the company’s loading. And out of those, 36,000 had ads running on them.

More findings from the report delineated how close to 200 were websites hailing from Iran and close to 2200 that would be deemed guilty of taking part in piracy-related behavior and a whopping 1000 documented delistings. 400 websites displayed adult content and were found by simple keywords describing explicit content.

The fact that so many brands were provided with the wrong impression of their ad placements by Google has brought on a new matter that might signal trouble for the tech giant.

In response, Dan Taylor, Vice President, Global Ads at Google, denies the accusations. He claims that "Adalytics has established a track record of publishing inaccurate reports that misrepresent Google’s products and make wildly exaggerated claims". Adding further, "We’ll review the report Adalytics published today, but our analysis of the sites and limited information already shared with us did not identify ad revenue being shared with a single sanctioned entity."

Image: DIW - AIgen

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