Google likely won't be severely affected by advertisement cancellations due to extremist videos. Different UK and US companies have announced they are pulling its advertisements from non-search platforms of Google after their advertisements started appearing in videos with extremist content. While this can be a substantial amount of money, Google still obtains much of its revenue from its search platform. Google dominates the search platform commanding 75% of search advertisements in the US. That translates to $24 billion dollars last year. By comparison, YouTube and Google's Display Network comprises around 10% of the total revenue of Google. In addition, the clients of Google number around millions and therefore companies canceling their ad deals may not have a substantial impact.
The controversy with ad placements, now in its second week, was brought to light when the UK government removed its advertisements from the video platform after the ads were placed next to videos with extremist content. These extremist content usually contain racist and discriminatory statements. Several companies from Europe and the US have since followed suit. The long list of companies pulling out their advertisements includes Channel 4, L'Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, and Verizon. Other companies have gone to a review with Google regarding the video advertisements and still, others have said that they are awaiting answers from Google regarding this issue.
Google uses an algorithm that matches the advertisements and user data for their search and non-search platforms. However, Google may have lacked the mechanism to distinguish the type of content in its network. Thus a video with extremist content may provide viewership to a specific group of people with the advertisements targeting the same set of people appearing in those videos. Google has since taken action regarding this matter. They have provided safeguards to prevent the inappropriate matching of advertisements and videos from happening. These include giving the advertisers more control regarding ad placements. It will also introduce a more stringent review of "potentially objectionable" videos. However, Google may find difficulty in actually policing the video content given the enormity of the YouTube video platform. Every minute, YouTube receives around 400 hours of uploaded content every minute. Also, algorithms may still not match human judgment in determining and classifying video content.