Google removed 600 Android apps from Google Play for Disruptive Ads and Disallowed Interstitial policy

Some developers were showing too much mobile advertisements.

Google has removed around 600 Android apps from the Google Play app store for violating disruptive ads policy and disallowed interstitial policy. The most popular operating system company has banned a few developers from their Google AdMob monetization platform along the way for doing mobile ad fraud, including running ads when the app was in background state. 

Google started the crackdown as it is trying to insulate users from disruptive ads and spams. The company wants to make Google Play a safer app store and enforcing policies for developers to use ads in less annoying ways. However, the 600 apps that Google removed were downloaded for 4.5 billion times altogether. That is what’s more surprising. 

The company says that the apps were removed as they were continuously displaying ads in unexpected ways. The ads include full-screen ads interfering with the user when making a call and even when the application was not being used. Some of the apps were showing full-screen interstitial adds on app launch or app exit.  

As per the company’s disruptive ad policies, apps can not show the ads in a way that results in inadvertent clicks. If the ad interferes with the regular use of the app, the app will be dismissable without penalty. 

The disallowed interstitial implementations of the Google policies also state that the ads should not be placed in applications that are running in the background of the device or outside of the app environment. 

The disruptive ads enforcement and Google’s new approach claims that it is an invasive maneuver that results in poor user experiences, which often disrupt key device functions. This approach can lead to unintentional ad clicks that waste advertiser spend. 

Google has developed new AI-based algorithms to protect against the savvy behavior of malicious developers for making such disruptive ads. This innovation now helps the company to detect out of the context ads. Bjorke, senior product manager for Ad Traffic Quality, wrote that “this machine learning-based approach of Google will help in creating a few new technologies to detect and prevent the emerging threats that the developers use to generate invalid traffic.”

The apps that were banned were made by developers-based in China, Hong Kong, India, and Singapore, as reported by BuzzFeed. The majority of these Android apps had English-speaking user base. Further, they report that the 45 apps of Cheetah Mobile, a China-based company, were banned in the wave of Google’s latest effort. 

Bjorke said, “We give them a notice and a warning [the first time it’s detected] and allow them to correct the problem, and if it’s a repeat offense, then it will gradually be a stronger reaction.”

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Google claims that the company has begun the refund process to those who paid for ads for all those apps whose ads display in a disruptive way. It is unsure would Google refund users for any in-app purchase subscriptions or for any app sales. Bjorke said, “We can confirm that we have identified affected advertisers and refunded the majority thus far.”

This is not the first time Google went on such missions. The company has banned the Chinese TouchPal keyboard developer CooTek for adware plug-in usage to send aggressive ads to the users. However, removing 600 apps is a big number. What do you think about it, please share and comment!

Featured image: Google

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