Google Has Punished 340 Fake News Sites Since November

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Google took steps against 340 fake news site in November and December, the company said as part of a report on fraudulent advertising Wednesday. Close to 200 of those sites were permanently banned from using Google ads, the company said.

Google, much like Facebook, has been under increased scrutiny for its role in the spreading of false and misleading news ever since the presidential election in November. The company responded to this the same month with changes to its Adsense policy, prohibiting sites that “misrepresent, misstate, or conceal information about the publisher, the publisher’s content, or the primary purpose” of the site to use Google ads for monetization.

Google said on Wednesday that it had reviewed some 550 sites since those policy changes, resulting in permanent bans for nearly 200 and temporarily cutting off another 140 sites from the company’s ad dollar spigot.

The company also revealed that it took down 1.7 billion ads for various policy violations in 2016. This included 17 million ads for illegal gambling, 5 million payday load ads and 80 million misleading or shocking ads.

As much as cutting off ad revenue may hurt so-called fake news sites, critics are likely not going to be content with this step alone. Google has increasingly been criticized for the way its algorithms highlight certain news sources as well.

For instance, in November, the first Google result for “who won the popular vote” was a conspiracy blog misrepresenting the outcome of the election. And in December, the search engine highlighted a made-up story about President Obama supposedly looking to a third term.


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  1. My Google news page still offers absolutely ridiculous “sources” like AwfulAnnouncing (whatever THAT is) and PoliticusUSA which – and I’m a progressive – is nothing more than left-leaning opinion. When I go to a service calling itself “news” I expect real journalism. NOT websites who operate solely for the purpose of generating ad revenue for Google.

  2. rjkanis says:

    Punished, as in, we made all the money we could have from you during the election, but now that the income is thinning out we need to save face, so we have to pretend we don’t like you.

  3. Did Google punish the real manufacturers of #FakeNews? #CNNlies, #WaPolies, #NYTlies, #NBClies, #ABClies,@CBSlies, #Varietylies?

  4. SL says:

    * Conservative News: Breitbart, Drudge Report, Washington Times, The Hill, The Daily Caller, Rush Limbaugh (radio), FOX News, CNSNews

    * Liberal News: Washington Post, NYT, Chicago Tribune, NPR, San Fran Chronicle, Seattle Times, BuzzFeed, HuffPost, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, Miami Herald, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Business Insider, USA Today, Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Engadget, Mashable, Men Health, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, Parade Magazine, Vox, Mic, Bustle, Salon, Slate, LA Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Democracy Now, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News (4/5 Op-Ed writers are Democrats), Yahoo News, Village Voice, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Boston Globe, New York Daily News, Wired Magazine, Time Magazine, etc. etc.

    Nearly ALL media outlets are incredibly liberal, including non-political sports and lifestyle publications (like Men’s Health) which have columnists constantly attacking Republicans, Trump and conservative values. Writers and Hollywood entertainers live in liberal big city areas, but half of America does not. The Left holds all the social power, but their corruption and lies have been exposed. Every day I see hundreds of anti-Trump articles so if I want something fair, honest and intelligent, I’ll have to go read one of the few conservative outlets listed above. This is how Trump won the election.

    Liberal Biased News = FAKE NEWS.

    When you fail to properly criticize Trump, you only create more followers and fans. But don’t tell Democrats that. They still think Russia rigged our election…

    • Thedude3445 says:

      This article is about fake news websites. It has nothing to do with your mostly-false political dogma.

      • RFrNmr says:

        What exactly do you see as “mostly-false” about SL’s post? I would say that it is totally TRUE.

        If the sites they are blocking from showing in their search results are actually publishing falsehoods, why then doesn’t Google release the list of sites they are blocking so everyone will know?

        No, this IS about Google’s political slant and politically-motivated actions.

      • Thedude3445 says:

        Because they are removing ads, not search engine listings. Search results from Google that are blocked are almost exclusively for DMCA reasons, and that information can be looked up. The ads they blocked went against their terms of service, something a PRIVATE COMPANY can dictate. Fake and misleading ads DO go against their terms of service and they have every legal right to do whatever they want.

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