Google recently boasted that Google Play Store has netted $80 billion in revenue for developers. Those figures are, of course, only from the legitimate ways app developers earn money, either from outright app purchases, in-app buys, subscriptions, or even ads. The last source of income, however, is rather problematic even for Google who manages the sanctioned apps these apps can use. This is mostly due to less than savory advertising methods which the company has now given the boot from Google Play Store.
Ads have become a fact of life, even on native mobile apps. In order to give people fewer reasons to block ads and deprive it of revenue, Google has been waging a campaign to make well-behaved ads the norm. It doesn’t help, however, when apps with ads misbehave, which is why Google is now setting the foot down on the matter on Android.
It may not have as far-reaching effects as breaking websites with bad ads, but Google can at least remove apps from Google Play Store that violate its advertising policies. These policies prohibit ads that interfere with the functionality of the app or, worse, pop up even when not using the app at all. That’s not even considering the ads that, by themselves are malicious in nature.
Google has revealed that nearly 600 apps have been removed from the Google Play Store for exactly those reasons. More than that, they have also been banned from its ad monetization platforms and services so they can’t get away by distributing the app on other app stores.
While definitely a laudable accomplishment, Google’s policing systems are far from perfect. There are times when clearly innocent apps are hit with violation penalties, only to be lifted later after much begging but without any explanation or even an apology. Google’s post indicates it has dedicated teams for this kind of malicious ad detection which will hopefully reduce the number of erroneous bans in the future.