Giving advertisers more control over where their ads run

April 15, 2021

We value the trust of our advertising partners. And that starts with our strong investments in the policies and technologies that keep inappropriate and dangerous content out of our advertising network. Additionally, we also provide advertisers with fine-grained controls that allow them to reach the audiences they want on sites and apps that reflect their values. Today, we’re announcing a new feature that will make it easier for advertisers to protect their ads from running alongside content that does not align with their brand or campaign.

Advertiser Controls:

Our advertiser controls allow our advertising partners to choose where their ads appear, the format in which their ads run, and the audience they want to reach. But just as importantly, these controls also allow advertisers to avoid running ads alongside content that they wish to avoid. These controls already allow advertisers to block specific websites, content, or entire topics from their advertising campaigns, including entire lists of sites that they want to exclude all at once.

However, we’ve heard from some of our partners that the current tools in place for blocking web pages or websites require dedicated resources and regular updating, which can pose a challenge for any advertiser, but especially smaller ones with limited staff and in-house expertise. So today, we’re announcing a new feature that will help simplify this process – giving advertisers the ability to use dynamic exclusion lists that can be updated seamlessly and continuously over time. These lists can be created by advertisers themselves or by a third party they trust, such as brand safety organizations and industry groups. Once advertisers upload a dynamic exclusion list to their Google Ads account, they can schedule automatic updates as new web pages or domains are added, ensuring that their exclusion lists remain effective and up-to-date. This feature will be available to all users within the coming weeks.

Policies & Enforcement:

It’s important to note that while advertiser controls are a useful resource for certain brands with specific needs, we have robust policies and enforcement technologies in place that protect all advertisers from harmful content and bad actors. These investments are the bedrock of our work to create a safe advertising ecosystem. Our AdSense program policies set strict requirements for websites and content that we allow to show ads. For example, our policies prohibit publishers from running ads on content that promotes violence or discrimination, illegal activity and sexually explicit or graphic images. And we constantly update our publisher policies to reflect emerging issues or threats affecting the digital advertising ecosystem, such as misinformation or harmful health claims around the COVID-19 Pandemic.

And as we’ve expanded the scope of our publisher policies, we’ve also strengthened our enforcement capabilities, investing heavily in technology as well as enforcement teams around the world that enable us to block or demonetize violating content – whether it's an entire website or an individual web page. Last year, we took action on nearly 1.3 billion pages across all policies and 1.6 million publisher sites.

Every brand has clear benchmarks that they’re striving for, and company values that they want to preserve. We’re committed to helping advertisers achieve both. Dynamic exclusion lists are just one more tool that advertisers now have at their disposal to protect their brands, grow their businesses and advertise with confidence.

Posted by Alejandro Borgia, Director, Ads Privacy & Safety

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