Google removed 600 apps from the Google Play Store that had too many annoying ads as an effort to crack down on its disruptive ad policy.
Apps that were removed reportedly had ads that resulted in poor user experiences or disrupted essential functions of people’s phones. Google said these pop-up ads could lead to people unintentionally clicking on them.
“We define disruptive ads as ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions,” wrote Per Bjorke, the senior product manager of Ad Traffic Quality at Google in a blog post. “While they can occur in-app, one form of disruptive ads we’ve seen on the rise is something we call out-of-context ads, which is when malicious developers serve ads on a mobile device when the user is not actually active in their app.”
You’ve probably experienced the ads Google is calling out before: They can pop up as a full-screen ad while you’re in the middle of using an app when you attempt to do certain things. You have to find a way to close the ad or, you accidentally end up clicking on it, which can bring you to an entirely different app altogether.
According to Buzzfeed News, apps that were removed from the Play Store were mostly utilities or games.
Google is cracking down on apps with these disruptive ads and even developed machine-learning technology that can detect when and which apps show these types of out-of-context ads. This technology reportedly helped Google weed out the bad apps resulting in their removal from the Play Store.
Google seems to be in an ad-policing mood, since earlier this month, it announced that Google Chrome would start to block three of the most annoying types of video ads beginning in August.
According to Google Chrome’s guidelines, the types of ads that will be blocked include those that require you to wait a certain amount of time before you can skip them, ads that begin to play while you’re watching a video, and ads that take up more than 20% of your screen space.