How Google Brand Safety works

Google has 12 bots crawling the web and the apps. The crawlers are APIs-Google, AdSense, AdsBot Mobile Web Android, AdsBot Mobile Web, AdsBot, Googlebot Images, Googlebot News, Googlebot Video, Googlebot (Desktop), Googlebot (Smartphone), Mobile AdSense, Mobile Apps Android.

With these bots, Google crawls the content of each website, and since 2017 Google is also crawling the ads.txt files to verify the authorized advertising sellers.

Google labels each URL with Digital content labels and Sensitive topic classifiers. This technology is then available in Campaign Manager (CM), Display & Video 360 (DV360) and Google Ads. Google says the classification process looks at hundreds of aspects of a site’s content.

Advertisers can whitelist or blacklist these content labels.

Google Digital Content Labels

  • DL­G: Content suitable for general audiences
  • DL­Y: Content suitable for families
  • DL­PG: Content suitable for most audiences with parental guidance
  • DL­T: Content suitable for teen and older audiences
  • DL­MA: Content suitable only for mature audiences
  • DL­NR: Content that has not been labeled

Google Ads Sensitive Topic Classifiers

  • Tragedy and conflict
  • Sensitive social issues
  • Sensational and Shocking
  • Profanity and rough language
  • Sexually suggestive
  • Parked domains
  • In­game
  • Live streaming video
  • In­video

In Google Ads, the Sensitive Topic Classifiers are only available for pre-­bid blocking (exclusion/negative targeting).

Display & Video 360 (and adserver Campaign Manager) Sensitive Topic Classifiers

  • Adult
  • Derogatory
  • Downloads & Sharing
  • Weapons
  • Gambling
  • Violence
  • Suggestive
  • Profanity
  • Alcohol
  • Drugs
  • Tobacco
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Tragedy
  • Transportation Accidents
  • Sensitive social issues

On DV360, advertisers can use Sensitive Topic Classifiers for reporting and pre­bid blocking.

YouTube Content Exclusions

YouTube Logo

In YouTube TrueView campaigns Google has several extra brand safety content classifiers:

  • Tragedy and conflict: Obituaries, bereavement services, violence, war, missing persons, and more
  • Profanity and rough language (beta): Moderate or heavy use of profane language and curse words
  • Sexually suggestive content (beta): Provocative pictures, text, and more
  • Sensational and shocking (beta): Content that creates shock value, including sensational, gross, and crude content
  • Embedded YouTube videos
  • Live-streaming videos
  • YouTube videos that appear in online or mobile app games

Other ways to protect the brand

Besides the above brand safety measurements, advertisers are able to protect their brand by excluding keywords, URLs, Apps, Topics (categories of content), and languages.