Google will ban online advertisements promoting cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings starting in June, part of a broader crackdown on the marketing of a new breed of high-risk financial products.
Google follows Facebook in banning cryptocurrency related advertising on its platform.
Google said it is banning ads from affiliates and aggregators who serve this market. Just last month, Cisco Talos and Ukrainian police disrupted a cybercriminal operation that made over $50 million by using Google ads to to drive traffic to phishing sites.
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While it seems that the move does not target cryptocurrencies specifically, the fact that crypto-related content is poised to suffer the harshest restrictions under the new policy suggest that Google may view digital currencies as more problematic than other financial products.
In the same announcement, Google said it was also banning binary options, a financial instrument that either pays out a fixed amount (like a dollar figure or a share of stock) or else pays nothing. In total, 3.2 billion ads were removed from AdSense past year for violating one or more of the company's ad policies. The new policy will come into effect in June this year.
79 million ads for sending users to malware-laden sites.
When evaluating sites that misrepresent themselves - for example, website scammers that try to pull in ad money with domains that closely mimic those of legitimate news outlets - Google found that a small number of publishers accounted for the bulk of these violations.
The figures were revealed in a blog post in which Google also said that in 2017, 320,000 publishers were removed from Google's ad network for violating its publisher policies, while Google also blacklisted nearly 90,000 websites and 700,000 mobile apps. READ NEXT:Fitbit launches the Versa, a $200 smartwatch for the masses Google's new policies target specific kinds of ad that it has identified as commonly deceptive or malicious.
"But in 2017, we also focused on tech to detect and disable new threats before people see them". "As consumer trends evolve, as our methods to protect the open web get better, so do online scams".