Bing did its part by rejecting a total of 250 million ad impressions … banning ~150,000 advertisements … and blocking around 50,000 websites outright.
It didn’t stop there. Bing also reports that it blocked more than 3 million pages and 30 million ads due to spam and misleading content.
What were some of the reasons behind the blocking? Here are a few clues as to where Bing’s efforts were strongest (although I don’t doubt that there are some others that Bing is keeping closer to its vest so as not to raise any alarms):
- Healthcare/pharma phishing attacks: ~2,000 advertisers and ~800,000 ads blocked in 2015
- Selling of counterfeit goods: 7,000 advertisers and 700,000+ ads blocked
- Tech support scams: ~25,000 websites and ~15 million ads blocked
- Trademark infringement factors: ~50 million ad placements rejected
Bing doesn’t say exactly how it identifies such a ginormous amount of fraudulent or otherwise nefarious advertising, except to report that the company has improved its handling of many aspects based on clues ranging from toll-free numbers analysis to dead links analysis.
According to Neha Garg, a program manager of ad quality at Bing:
“There have even been times our machine learning algorithms have flagged accounts that look innocent at first glance … but on close examination we find malicious intent. The back-end machinery runs 24/7 and used hundreds of attributes to look for patterns which help spot suspicious ads among billions of genuine ones.”
We’re thankful to Bing and Google for all that they do to control the incidence of advertising that carries malicious malware that could potentially cause many other problems above and beyond the mere “irritation factor.”
Of course, there’s always room for improvement, isn’t there?