Google deletes 600 apps from Play Store over disruptive mobile ads

Anne Freier | February 24, 2020

App Business

Google recently removed 600 apps from its Google Play store and ad monetisation platforms AdMob and Ad Manager for showing disruptive ads outside of the apps.

Google defines disruptive ads as those that interfere with the functionality of devices and other apps.

In a blog post, senior product manager Per Bjorke said that out-of-context ads have been on the rise. Out-of-context ads are those run in the background on mobile devices when users aren’t active on the app.

“This is an invasive maneuver that results in poor user experiences that often disrupt key device functions and this approach can lead to unintentional ad clicks that waste advertiser spend. For example, imagine being unexpectedly served a full-screen ad when you attempt to make a phone call, unlock your phone, or while using your favorite map app’s turn-by-turn navigation,” he wrote.

As a growing number of malicious developers use disruptive ads, Google has been trying to play catch-up.

“We recently developed an innovative machine-learning based approach to detect when apps show out-of-context ads, which led to the enforcement we’re announcing today,” Bjorke added.

Google said it was committed to investing in new technologies to help prevent invalid traffic and disruptive ads.

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