Microsoft Ads Reports An Increase In Policy-Breaking Behaviour
SEO marketing companies must comply with rules, especially when making and publishing advertisements. However, just recently in the SEO marketing industry, it was reported that there was an increase in marketers breaking ad policies in 2020, according to Microsoft Ads.
Because of this, the Microsoft Advertising platform suspended a whopping 300,000 accounts last year – a 30 per cent increase from 2019. The company stated that they also removed 1.6 billion ads that did not comply with their policies, as well as 270,000 websites from their system in 2020 alone. Their findings were in line with the recent Ad Safety Report findings from Google.
Since there was a significant rise in fraudulent activity both in Microsoft and Google – two major search engines – SEO experts wondered the reason for such behaviour. The two companies found one major factor in both of their reports. During the pandemic, there was a growing demand for new and rare products like Covid vaccines and testing kits, which could be one of the reasons for this policy-breaking behaviour.
Moreover, Microsoft noticed that many businesses from various industries have boosted their online presence. There was also an increase in customer interaction, even from people who have not previously interacted with businesses online.
Combining these two factors may have pushed a lot of advertisers to take advantage of the situation. Therefore, Microsoft Ads rejected almost 21 million ads in compliance with their policy of banning the exploitation of sensitive events for commercial gain.
The year 2020 also paved way for elections, and many marketers published political ads that did not comply with the company’s policies. Microsoft rejected more than 10,000 websites and 20 million ads that broke political policies by advertising sensitive political content for commercial gain and election-related content, as well as promoting political agendas and issues.
There was also a 100 per cent rise in ad accounts that used phishing and other scams. Aside from that, attempts to take over Microsoft Advertising accounts also rose five times from 2019, forcing the company to implement multi-factor authentication for their users’ safety.
Despite all these negative reports, the company strives to give a better service to SEO marketing agencies. They have invested in real-time evaluation systems that work with artificial intelligence, fraud analysis tools, and leveraging behavioural signals. This system is partnered with manual reviewers to determine which accounts and content did not comply with their policies.
The company also continuously asks for user feedback and takes them seriously. They have received around 50,000 complaints regarding non-compliant ads and found out that 65 per cent of the ads that were reported indeed violated their policies.
Most of these complaints were due to trademark issues, and so the company invested in trademark protection and was able to decrease complaints under this category by 25 percent year-over-year.
Microsoft, alongside other search engine companies, continue to fight the increase in non-compliant advertisements. They encourage all SEO marketing companies to report any suspicious or uncompliant ad to help put an end to ad policy-breaking behaviour.
Complying with search engine ad policies and systems is crucial to have a smooth, penalty-free advertising campaign. And in this endeavour, you will need help from the top SEO professionals you can find. If you’re looking to hire the number one SEO agency in the UK, talk to Position1SEO!
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