Google Adsense shows ad leading to site Google knows is bad/dangerous - WTF?

; Date: Sat Mar 09 2019

Tags: Google »»»» Google Adsense

I just clicked on a Google Adsense ad - the ad text made me curious - and immediately shown a WARNING screen of a "Deceptive Site Ahead" that might install malware etc. It is nice that Chrome is there ready to shout "Warning! Warning! Danger Bill Robinson!" But -- I got to that screen by clicking an ad hosted by Google Adsense. Doesn't one hand of Google know that the other hand of Google has said that site is dangerous? Why doesn't Google block advertising that leads to dangerous sites?

The image above contains a representation of the advertising, along with the browser warning page I landed on.

Thank you Google for ensuring Chrome knows about dangerous sites, and warns me of dangerous sites.

Shame on you Google for allowing an Adsense ad to lead me to a site Google knows is dangerous.

What more is there to say? Well, what about any opportunity to notify Google that the ad was not appropriate?

Turns out there is a means to give feedback to Google about the advertising it displays. Looking carefully you'll see an "X" in the upper right of the ad. I know from experience clicking on the "X" dismisses the ad. What I just learned is that next to the "X" the phrase "AdChoices" will pop up, and clicking on that brings you here:

Source: Google

This page is customized so that Google makes it clear it knows what ad you're concerned about. While the ad shown here doesn't precisely match what I clicked on, it is clearly a variant of the same ad.

We are offered three choices of actions to take with Google in regards to this ad shown with Google Adsense

  • Control ad settings
  • Report bad website or app - publisher feedback form
  • Report bad ads - ad feedback form

Oh.. and Google has the balls to say they do not sell our information to anyone. That is pure B.S., because the whole point of Google is to collect a ton of information about us that is then packaged up as an advertising service whose value proposition is the huge personal preferences database of pretty much everyone. While Google is not directly selling our information, it offers a service for pay that indirectly sells our information.

But.. that is a tangent, let's get back on the subject.

Let's take a look at each in turn.

Google Ad Personalization page

Source: Google

Ooooh... Here is where you see what Google has decided are your areas of interest. This explains a lot about why Google is showing me the adverts I see.

This is a very important page to visit because it explains the extent of what Google has learned about us.

Source: Google

Let's also focus on this. These two settings SOUND LIKE Google is promising to turn off tracking of personal information. Therefore these two settings SOUND LIKE useful things to do?

Source: Google

Yes, please, that's what I want. Not that I believe Google will stop tracking me. But it is what I want.

Source: Google


There's also a link for AdChoices leading to:

Source: AdChoices

Hurm, the URL is ( and this appears to be a means for blocking certain advertisements.

Getting back to the Why This Ad page

Clicking on the Publisher Feedback link we get this:

Source: Google

The URL says it is an Adsense Contact Form, and contains a long code string that hopefully identifies the ad in question and other data. But the questions here do not satisfy the current issue.

Source: Google

But clicking on the Ad Feedback link just gives us this form which is also not very useful.

But I went ahead with this form - saying it was an Adsense policy violation, and so on, explaining in the text box

I did not make it to the destination page since Chrome warned me that "Deceptive site ahead Attackers on may trick you into doing something dangerous like installing software or revealing your personal information (for example, passwords, phone numbers, or credit cards)."


Yes, Google, I think lots of us want to know the answer to this.

About the Author(s)

( David Herron : David Herron is a writer and software engineer focusing on the wise use of technology. He is especially interested in clean energy technologies like solar power, wind power, and electric cars. David worked for nearly 30 years in Silicon Valley on software ranging from electronic mail systems, to video streaming, to the Java programming language, and has published several books on Node.js programming and electric vehicles.