Tech

Google removed more than 600 apps with ‘disruptive ads’ from the Play Store

The apps had together been downloaded more than 4.5 billion times.

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Google removed somewhere around 600 apps from the Play Store for using what it calls “disruptive” ads. Google’s senior product manager for ad traffic quality told BuzzFeed News that the removed apps had been installed a total of more than 4.5 billion times.

By taking down apps with disruptive ads, Google is proving its ongoing dedication to keeping the Play Store safe and user-friendly.

Not all ads are ‘disruptive’ — The large-scale takedown is part of Google’s fight against what it calls “disruptive ads.” As outlined on the Play Store’s ad policy page, disruptive ads are shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks. So basically any ad that pops up to cover the full page counts as being disruptive to the user experience — though these are allowed so long as they can be easily dismissed by the user.

Google considers this ad disruptive because there's no option to dismiss it.Google

Google warns creators before taking their apps down, and the company refunds brands whose ads were displayed in a disruptive manner.

Let the crackdown continue — It’s all too easy for app creators to trick users into clicking on ads, thereby increasing their advertising metrics and those for the advertiser. This kind of rogue marketing is reprehensible, turning many otherwise useful and engaging apps into annoyances for quick revenue boosts.

Google’s dedication to keep the Play Store as user-friendly as possible is commendable and, I hope, something that will only continue to improve in the future.