Yesterday, Google announced that it has pulled 600 apps from the Google Play Store for violating Google's disruptive ads policy. 

Google defines "disruptive ads" as ads that are "displayed to users in unexpected ways, including impairing or interfering with the usability of device functions."  Google said that while disruptive ads can occur in-app, it has seen an increase of "out-of-context ads," which Google defines as ads that are served by an app on a mobile device when the user is not actually active in the app.  Google explained that, "This is an invasive maneuver that results in poor user experiences that often disrupt key device functions and this approach can lead to unintentional ad clicks that waste advertiser spend."

Here are the key requirements from Google's disruptive ads policy:

  • Ads should not be shown in a way that results in inadvertent clicks;
  • Forcing a user to click an ad or submit personal information for advertising purposes before the user can fully use an app is prohibited;
  • Interstitial ads may only be displayed inside of the app serving them; and; and
  • If an app displays interstitial ads or other ads that interfere with normal use, they must be easily dismissable without penalty.

For example, an app violates Google's disruptive ads policy if the app serves an ad in-app that takes up the entire screen or interferes with normal use of the app without providing a clear method to dismiss the ad (such as a dismiss button).