Google Promises to Keep Counterfeiters Out of Its Ads

Google AdWords

Conscious that as leader in online advertising its systems sometimes contain ads to illicit services, Google is tightening up its policies.

Just as the U.S. authorities tighten up their stance against piracy and counterfeiting online, Google has revealed that it's taking a number of steps to "tune" its systems to "keep out the bad guys" who use its systems to advertise counterfeit goods and services.

Google acknowledges that while the Internet has enabled whole new markets and businesses to exist, reaching a "huge audience" at "incredible scale," some people are determined to "misuse legitimate online services to market counterfeit goods." Google acts to take down the offenders when it identifies them, but there's no quick and easy answer—it's a game of cat and mouse. Every time Google takes down an offending ad on its AdWords system, new ones will pop up, just as every time it tweaks its security policy, counterfeiters will find new loopholes.

Hence three new major improvements to AdWords anti-counterfeiting procedures. First, Google will act to take down counterfeit ads from "reliable" complainers within 24 hours—based on a group of brand owners that Google has identified as using its online complaint system "responsibly."

Better yet, Google will improve its own AdSense anti-counterfeiting reviews by "working more closely with brand owners to identify infringers and, when appropriate, expel them from the AdSense program." Lastly, there's a new help page for reporting counterfeit-carrying ads, designed to make it easier for brand owners to work out how to complain when they find an abuse. The tweak could have a positive feedback effect, too—Google notes that when it gets a counterfeit notice it uses the data to adjust its automatic abuse detection code. 

To read more news like this, follow Fast Company on Twitter: Click here.

Read More: Most Innovative Companies: Google

Add New Comment


  • Adolfo Segura

    When was this supposed to go in effect? Just google "knock off" in an instant search and see what pops up on the right! I would figure that such a common search AdWord would be the first to go. Their complaint form is too long to fill out unless your an actual manufacturer protecting your goods, normal public won't go through the trouble of reporting these ads - good luck with that. Seems like an empty attempt by Google to make it look like they can police themselves before government comes in to regulate it themselves. The video game industry played the same shell game in the past also - it worked, they still "self-regulate" if you can call it that.

  • Irene7999

    Google's promise is admired,but I doubt the feasibility because it is a big economic benefit.