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. 

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