[Update] Google is officially banning ads on cryptocurrencies and "related content", in addition to some other related changes to its Financial Services policy. According to Google, crypto related content is defined as "including but not limited to initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency wallets, and cryptocurrency trading advice."
The ban will go into effect starting in June of 2018, not March as rumors had suggested. Though, many AdWords clients are still finding that their crypto-related ads are being blocked, as highlighted in the orignal story below.
[Original Story] Google and Facebook are powerful enough to control most of the internet’s traffic and advertising, and everyone else has no choice but to play by their rules. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg released a statement earlier this year that explained the social media giant would be blocking cryptocurrency-related ads from appearing in their news feeds, and now Google appears to be following suit.
According to Finance Magnates, Google is quietly removing cryptocurrency ads, despite having no policy in place that discourages them. A number of Google AdWords clients are reporting a significant drop in performance related to direct advertising of cryptocurrency related services, products, and ICOs. Many advertisers are finding their campaigns rejected or have had their accounts suspended by Google without explanation.
Google has denied any changes to their policy in regards to cryptocurrencies, but the issue is spreading to YouTube - which is owned by Google as well. Well-known crypto channels have been banned, demonetized, or have had features such as Live Video removed.
Rumors suggest that Google may be considering an official ban in March. Google may be targeting crypto-related ads due to the prevalence of scams and malicious ads that install malware-based mining scripts on users computers.
Outside of Google’s advertising platforms, cryptocurrency is also struggling via organic search. Google searches for “Bitcoin” have plummeted just about as much as its price has. In fact, the two metrics - Google search volumes for Bitcoin, and the price of Bitcoin are eerily similar. At the peak of Bitcoin’s all-time high, Bitcoin searches on Google reached a peak “score” of 100, and have since declined to a six-month low of 19 points. To put this into perspective, the search volume has not been this low since Bitcoin’s price was just over $4000 during the beginning of October.
Google search volume is a strong indicator of mainstream public interest in any topic, including cryptocurrency. Bitcoin mania is over in the eyes of the mainstream, but will likely be back when the bull market returns, and the gains are too enticing for the public not to have their interest reignited.