The cryptocurrency markets reacted fairly negatively to the news that Google would ban all cryptocurrency related advertisement placement. After some revision, however, Google refined their newly imposed policy in a blog post stating that only verified and regulated cryptocurrency exchanges and products would be allowed to utilize the Google Ads services. This also stated an explicit ban on fraudulent and apparent “robots”, automated programs that promise certain amounts of returns immediately, which in many cases tricks new users into buying into the program without previous due diligence. While Google has implied they’ve added these strict provisions for daily moderation, it seems their currently added algorithms and processes have failed to adequately function.
An example is demonstrated below, where searching for the program “Bitcoin Loophole”, returns an ad placement for a few of what Google classifies as “Get rich quick scams” – a topic they claimed to have banned.
A Faulted Policy?
A further investigation into some of these keywords and it seems that there are a few other parameters that when searched return some of these previously claimed-to-be removed topics. Google’s updated revised PPC ban also followed Facebook, who claimed they’d be removing all cryptocurrency and financial “robot” or “get rich quick scams” related advertisement placements. However, after pressure from not only the cryptocurrency community but also the general financial community for not enabling more freedom in advertisement creation, they also revised their advertisement creation protocols to tailor a more efficient method. Now, both Facebook and Google have enabled regulated, financially recognized cryptocurrency and blockchain related keywords for products looking to purchase advertising space on their platforms.
A Trap for Newcomers of Cryptocurrency
The main reasoning that many of these types of products and platforms were argued to be removed from the advertisement and PPC enabled environment is because those who are inexperienced, or relatively new to cryptocurrency are very easily susceptible to some of these platforms if they are indeed scams. Additionally, with Google’s PPC and advertisement platform, you immediately receive placement of your project or website at the top of the page with a green highlight above the text as well. Although seasoned users of the internet and search browsers can easily distinguish amongst advertisements that were paid for and legitimately organically reaching content.
Then, if a project hasn’t been properly reviewed and is in actuality a cryptocurrency get rich quick scam, the user can almost immediately fall for the scam without protection. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) revealed that approximately $3 billion in total was lost to cryptocurrency scams in 2018. As a result, platforms such as Google, Facebook, and even Twitter initially incorporated generalized bans on advertisement placements for keywords some as simple as “cryptocurrency”. Initial efforts from all parties were received negatively, which caused a plethora of these advertisement giants to revise their newly created policies.
Although there are some legitimate platforms that incorporate robots & automated trading to establish effective products, many are fraudulent and potentially dangerous for newcomers of the community; this factor alone is enough of a reason for Google to need to promptly assess any advertisement policy errors.