Google Serves 48% Of All Ad Traffic On Fake News Sites

Amber Dawson

Amber Dawson

June 23rd, 2021

Amber Dawson is a content writer at PPC Protect with 6 years of digital marketing experience. With a focus on PPC marketing, Amber shares all her expertise on our blog.

google invalid clicks report


New research
has revealed that the company responsible for serving almost half of ad traffic to fake news sites is Google. 

Research conducted by the University of Michigan School of Information states that while Google doesn’t make much money from it, they’re responsible for 48% of ads on fake and low-quality news sites. 

Why Do Fake News Sites Survive?

There are questions to be answered surrounding why Google continues to feed these sites with advertisers’ campaigns. 

Fake news sites survive because advertisers keep sending them ads. While Google encourages advertisers to trust their algorithms to best place their ads, it’s clear some of these placements are on shady websites.

The research also found that the top 10 credible ad servers, such as Outbrain and Lockerdome, make up 55.6% and 66.7% of low-quality ad traffic.

google search

Traffic Quality Is Everything

Keeping an eye on your traffic quality is key to ensuring your optimizations are based on real, intent-driven clicks. If you’re not closely monitoring your Google Ads account, then it could be your brand that’s appearing alongside this fake news. 

Make sure you’re keeping a close eye on your exclusion lists and take an interest in exactly where Google thinks your ads are best placed. 

Get A Free Traffic Audit

Do you know how much of your budget is being spent on invalid clicks? Your campaign performance could be being reduced by as much as 30%. You won’t know until we’ve run our free traffic audit.

Start Your Free Audit

How many invalid clicks do you get on your account?

How much spend is wasted on fraudulent clicks?

Are your competitors wasting your budget?