Earlier this week, an Ethereum startup in Serbia discovered that its advertisements on Google were not being shown in certain regions.
As the company investigated the case further, it found out that the keyword “Ethereum” has been completely banned on Google Ads and is not served to users on the platform.
Throughout the past three days, the startup attempted to contact Google to receive clarification on the removal of Ethereum-related advertisements.
On January 12, a representative of the startup said that Google did not respond to the firm and wrote:
We’ve been using Google Ads for the past 6 months to help us get more visibility for our smart contract auditing services and we’ve noticed a strange change in the last few days. It seems that Google completely blacklisted Ethereum as a keyword. Any of the keywords that contain ‘ethereum’ in our campaigns are no longer showing ads as of January 9th.
It is likely that the company has not blacklisted Ethereum or cryptocurrency advertisements in general but is moving slowly in enabling advertisements because of the large number of scams and fraudulent operations it saw in the cryptocurrency sector in early 2018.
In September 2018, Google announced the resumption of cryptocurrency-related advertisements on its platform after banning them in March of the same year.
In March, when the search engine giant initially imposed a blanket ban on cryptocurrency ads, Google executive Scott Spender said:
We don’t have a crystal ball to know where the future is going to go with cryptocurrencies, but we’ve seen enough consumer harm or potential for consumer harm that it’s an area that we want to approach with extreme caution.
At the time, analysts suggested that Google banned cryptocurrency ads because of an inflow of scam-related promotions on the platform. Five months later, under a strict guideline yet to be disclosed to the public, the tech giant began to allow cryptocurrency ads — but only to a limited group of companies.
To ensure that any scam-related ads are not published on the platform, the company stated that it will initiate a rigorous evaluation of all cryptocurrency ads and will only permit a subset of advertisements within the cryptocurrency sector.
Considering that Google is cautiously bringing a small portion of cryptocurrency ads back to its platform, at least in the foreseeable future, it is possible that startups or lesser-known companies in the cryptocurrency ecosystem may not have their advertisement applications accepted by the company’s advertising platform.
The disapproval of advertisement filings by Google is not exclusive to Ethereum nor other communities within crypto.
“We are concerned that Google is targeting Ethereum specifically for some reason and wanted to see if we as a community could put some pressure on the Google Ads team to adjust their keyword policy or to at least provide a reasonable explanation for such discriminatory regulations,” the startup said.
Until the conglomerate gains confidence in its ability to sufficiently filter out scams and advertisements promoting fraudulent activities, Google will likely continue to be wary of accepting crypto-related ads.
Featured image from Shutterstock.