Google Deletes Over 500 Apps With Terrible Ads from the Play Store

By Holly Brockwell on at

Google would like you to know that it DOES NOT APPRECIATE apps with "disruptive" ads that either try to sell you stuff while you're not actually using the app, or fool you into tapping on ads you didn't intend to.

Just under 600 apps with ads that "are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions" have been nixed, and their developers have been banned from the Play Store.

"Malicious developers continue to become more savvy in deploying and masking disruptive ads, but we’ve developed new technologies of our own to protect against this behavior. 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."

So there.

Here's an example of a (fake) ad that would violate the policy:

Image: Google

Ads that "take up the entire screen or interfere with normal use and do not provide a clear means to dismiss the ad" are not allowed.

According to BuzzFeed News, the majority of the offending apps were aimed at English speakers, but mostly originated from China, India and Singapore. One developer, Cheetah Mobile, lost over 40 apps at a stroke.

Said apps are also banned from Google's monetisation platforms AdMob and Ad Manager, and companies whose brands appeared on disruptive ads will be getting a refund from the Big G. [The Verge]

Main image: Google