Google’s latest move to precisely target websites violating its AdSense content rules at page-level has so far garnered a positive response from the online advertising industry.

Paul Wright, CEO of intent marketing specialist iotec called the update “timely and strategic”, following the announcement yesterday that it would be rolling out page-level policy action to remove ads placed amid adult, derogatory, dangerous or drug-related content rather than a blanket removal of all ads on the publisher’s site as has previously been policy.

According to Google’s director of sustainable ads, Scott Spencer, this will cause fewer disruptions to publishers, but those that continue to violate terms will still have their accounts terminated with AdSense.

Google claims to have removed more than 100,000 publishers from the AdSense programme throughout 2016, with “thousands” of sites being reviewed for violations daily.

Alongside the announcement, Google has launched a policy centre for publishers using AdSense, which informs publishers as to why actions have been taken and violations, including at page-level, it has detected; it then provides instructions as to how publishers can swiftly resolve these violations across all affecting sites and pages.  

“A more robust plan”

The development comes amid a time of concern for those spending on digital marketing and a crisis of trust over programmatic ad serving, exacerbated by a much-publicised investigation by The Times earlier in the year.

“With leading brands and advertisers speaking out for greater transparency in their ad spend, Google’s changes speak to a first step in providing greater control and a more robust plan for embracing full transparency,” said Wright.

Arguing that it falls to leaders like Google to demonstrate proactive measures and “explicit call-to-action” to improve transparency in advertising, he added, “Delivering policies so website publishers better understand possible content violations and removing ads at the page-level is a first nod to ensuring greater brand safety for advertisers.”