In 2014, Google disabled more than 524 million bad paid search advertisements, and also banned more than 214,000 advertisers. According to a report released by Google earlier this month, the search engine also disabled 700,000 websites around the world, in more than 80 different languages. The report offers some details on the bad ads that were disabled. Google defines bad advertisements as ones that make misleading claims, promote harmful products, or promote counterfeit items. Vikaram Gupta, the director of ads engineering at Google, notes that the company has a team of analysts that work around the clock in order to protect the search engine’s users, and also noted that they have detection technology which works well to spot bad actors. Gupta called detecting bad advertisements a vital part of keeping the advertising ecosystem clean. A clean, scam free and high quality advertising ecosystem is essential if you want to keep the click-through rate as high as possible, while keeping the cost per click as low as possible for the high quality advertisers in the Google network. Google detects bad ads by using a combination of human ad reviewers and automated detection systems. In 2014, they banned 7,000 ads for counterfeit goods, and removed 250,000 malware-infected websites from the ad network. The 7,000 figure marks a decline in counterfeit goods advertisements compared to the previous year. However, scam advertisements appear to be a problem that remains serious in some niches. Google, AOL and Yahoo together removed more than two and a half million advertisements relating to scams in the diet sector – with fake weight loss products and dietary supplements being especially prevalent. One notable victory for the Google analytics team was the removal of a set of vacation rental advertisements which appeared to be legitimate at first glance, but, on closer inspection were found to be advertisements for fake properties. Google’s emphasis on cleaning up their paid search and adwords networks can only be considered to be a good thing for legitimate advertisers. End-users are naturally wary about clicking on advertisements, and the only way for Google to make searchers feel at ease is to remove as many low quality advertisements as possible. In addition, removing these advertisements will reduce competition for the keyword in question, keeping prices lower for the legitimate advertisers in that niche. The days of black-hat PPC may well be numbered.