Yesterday, Google announced an enormous policy change as the result of months of consultation with Facing Addiction’s leadership team about protecting the safety of individuals and families seeking information and help for addiction.
Google is one of the largest referral sources for treating a disease that affects millions of Americans
This week, Google started restricting ads that come up when someone searches for addiction treatment on its site. “We found a number of misleading experiences among rehabilitation treatment centers that led to our decision,” Google spokeswoman Elisa Greene said in a statement on Thursday.
Google has taken similar steps to restrict advertisements only a few times before. Last year it limited ads for payday lenders, and in the past it created a verification system for locksmiths to prevent fraud.
In this case, the restrictions will limit a popular marketing tool in the $35 billion addiction treatment business, affecting thousands of small-time operators.
As of this week, Google has stopped selling ads related to searches for phrases like “drug rehab” or “alcohol treatment centers.”, although it may lift the restriction if it can find a way to weed out misleading advertisements. Read NY Times article here