Google (Alphabet Inc.) has reportedly blacklisted keywords mentioning Ethereum (ETH) on its advertising platform Google Ads, smart contract auditing startup Decenter tweeted on Jan. 10.
The official Google Ads account replied to the tweet stating that cryptocurrency exchanges targeting the United States and Japan can be advertised on the platform, and that targeting other countries could be the reason for the ad rejection.
When Decenter explained that they are a group of developers doing smart contract security audits and that they were seeing the error message when trying to use the “ethereum development services” and “ethereum security audits” keywords, Google Ads’ official account answered:
“Although we wouldn’t be able to preemptively confirm if your keyword is eligible to trigger ads, we’d recommend that you refer to the ‘Cryptocurrencies’ section of our policy on Financial products and services.”
When Decenter asked the Ethereum community on Reddit in an open query about the alleged Google Ads policy changes, the team specified that:
“Any of the keywords that contain “ethereum” in our campaigns are no longer showing ads as of January 9th and are now reporting the following error.”
Screenshot of the error encountered by Decenter. Source: Decenter’s Jan. 10 Tweet
Decenter’s Reddit post further explained that they have tested keywords for “ethereum smart contract audits” and “eos smart contract audits” and found that only the EOS-referenced keyword showed ads.
The top comment on the Reddit post criticizes Google’s position as a neutral third party, stating:
“Google has various political and economic agendas, and they are quite willing to use their various services to promote their preferences. AdSense and Youtube are notorious for this, but there have been some incidents regarding the play store as well.”
As Cointelegraph reported in March last year, Google banned all cryptocurrency-related advertising of all types in June 2018, according to a recent update to their Financial Services policy.
However, Google announced in September 2018 that it would change its ad policy in October, reallowing some crypto businesses to advertise on its platform. Namely, the changes allow cryptocurrency exchanges ads in the United States and Japan.
Recently, Cointelegraph reported that the Bitcoin (BTC) wallet provider Samourai Wallet needed to disable some of its security features in order to be able to continue to distribute its software on Google’s Play store.