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Google Moves to Restrict Tech Support Ads

     
1:50 pm on Sep 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The WSJ pointed out to Google that certain ads on its site were tech support numbers which didn't belong to the purported company, but worse still, when contacted, the support numbers were direct to scammers masquerading as authorised service agents for the company.

Google has now said it'll be restricting these ads and will be rolling out a verification program for legitimate providers to use.

We’ve seen a rise in misleading ad experiences stemming from third-party technical support providers and have decided to begin restricting ads in this category globally.


[blog.google...]
7:57 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We’ve seen a rise


I wonder if an analysis of the ads that publishers in G's contextual ad network were blocking should have signaled "there's a problem with these ads" . . sooner?

I suspect such a "bad ads signal" was being sent since publishers don't care to host ads that scam their visitors, making their websites look bad.

Things that make me go . . . Hmmmm . . .
9:51 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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...third-party technical support providers
I've always blocked those. Never felt comfortable with those ads that start with "Download, Install, Support, Scan, Get..."
8:45 am on Sept 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It always amazes me that people are still taken in my this kind of scam, but then we aren't your average web user. Joe or Jane Blogs out there may not have heard of it and might be very susceptible to such an ad. I agree that Google and other ad platforms need to act against such promotions.

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11:19 pm on Sept 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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And it only took 15 years to think about addressing this. Better ever than never.
11:39 pm on Sept 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@smallcompany - seems this is a fairly recent development.
11:55 pm on Sept 4, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It always amazes me that people are still taken in my this kind of scam, but then we aren't your average web user.

Based on the volume of ads of this type that I see, I think it is more a big numbers strategy. You just need to find the one vulnerable individual out of the tens of thousands of people seeing the ads.

I'm still seeing some of these ads. But now I am also seeing an increase of ads with headings such as "Get Hard for 4 Hours". They are typically text ads and point to completely unrelated websites that are likely hacked. I just don't understand how Adsense/AdWords is not able to detect this type of scam and take action. They should put as much effort in filtering ads for policy violations as they do filtering publishers' websites.
12:19 am on Sept 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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seems this is a fairly recent development.


I've been in software industry (marketing) since 2004 (antivirus related stuff mostly), and seeing and reporting such ads to Google since probably '05 or '06. Going down to the same thing - pretending to be an official support and charging people hefty fees for nothing. Folks that would fall to this would come later on and complain or "cry" about how they got ripped off for i.e. $250 while they thought they had support included (which is true for all of legitimate companies). People would pick wrong website/number from an ad (bidding TM terms) and fallen for "you have a virus!" or whatever else it could be.

Speaking of that it got more of attention from Google, yeah, it could be a new thing.
12:50 am on Sept 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I started see these ads on my sites about 3 years ago, fairly recent.
4:07 pm on Sept 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Tell 'em to put contracts out on the telemarketers who make scam robocalls about my "Google small business listing," too.
6:40 am on Sept 7, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have started to remove AdSense from my websites as it slows down the page load and does not provide any earnings.

I am fed up having to activity review ads by Google and block accounts and adverts that lead to Malware / Spam sites - probably around 15-20% of ads should not be allowed, just disgraceful.

And over the last few months I notice that AdSense is not appearing on my web pages when I view the page, strangely this may be due to my use of Microsoft Edge to login to Google (AdSense not showing), yet when I look at the same page with Chrome the adverts show - where I am not logged into Google.

Anyway - unless miracles happen I feel AdSense has lost the plot and is now basically useless.
 

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