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Google is cleaning up: about 600 apps have been removed from the Google Play Store. The applications are said to have violated its guidelines. Google was able to track down the apps using a newly developed process. Users of the apps will no longer receive updates.
Google regularly removes apps from its Play Store that violate policies or are considered malware, but it is not always quick to find those that are being a bit naughty. Recently it ditched about 600 applications, as the company reports in a blog entry. The apps removed from the Play Store are alleged to have violated Google policies. Google speaks of fraud and also blocked the corresponding applications in Google's monetization platform. Specifically, it's violations of Google's advertising guidelines that have been deemed to be the cause of the removals.
"We define disruptive ads as ads that are displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions," Google writes. It has probably also kicked apps from the Play Store that simulate through ads even when the user is not actively using the app. In this way, higher advertising revenues can be generated via Google, even though the Google Ads were not even displayed to the user. The app fraudsters are said to have sometimes placed ads outside the app to force advertising clicks.
Google will continue to take stronger action against advertising fraud in apps, it says. The company writes that it has developed a new technology to protect itself against fraudsters. It was only thanks to this new process, which is based on machine learning, that Google was able to track down the 600 apps. More removals are to follow. Users of the apps can still use them. However, they no longer receive updates. It can be assumed that most of the deleted apps did not offer any added value for the user anyway. Unfortunately, it is not known exactly which apps Google has deleted.
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