Google deletes 600 adware-ridden disruptive Apps from Play Store

Google has removed almost 600 "disruptive" Android apps from the Play Store and banned their developers in its latest effort to crack down on mobile ad fraud

Google is cracking down on malicious Android apps that are guilty of running disruptive apps. Although many of these apps are helpful to the user, the predominant reason behind their existence is to generate revenue by running as many ads as possible regardless of the user experience.

Apps running 'disruptive' ads removed

In a blog post, Google announced that it is finally taking strict action against such apps and said It removed nearly 600 apps from its app marketplace for delivering "disruptive" ads. In order to clarify, Google is not banning apps that just run lots of ads but clamping down on malicious apps that are designed to deliver ads that make the user's experience worse.

For instance, if you open your phone's dialer app to make a phonecall and a video ad pops up that you can't close or click away from, that's a problem and one that's incredibly frustrating for the user, and can even prove to be dangerous in the event of an emergency.

google play store
Google Play

Per Bjorke, Google's senior product manager for ad traffic quality who wrote the company blog post, noted that the company employed a "machine-learning based approach" to help identify out-of-context ads in apps and then remove the apps responsible for running them in today's ban.

This isn't the first time Google has tightened up on developers behind such apps, although today's crackdown appears to be its biggest bust of ad fraud offenders ever. In July last year, Google removed Chinese developer CooTek for running an adware plug-in that sent users aggressive ads even when the app was not being used.

Which apps have been banned?

Among the apps that have been removed by Google from the Play Store and its ad monetization platforms were apps developed by Cheetah Mobile, a publicly traded Chinese company that has been known to engage in ad fraud, according to BuzzFeed News.

All of the developer's 45 apps were removed from the Play Store in today's ban. Most of the other apps that ran "disruptive ads" were made by developers based in China, India, and Singapore, and a majority were aimed at English-speaking users.