If you've never heard of payday loans, consider yourself lucky. They're an absolutely vile form of lending with annual interest rates that often creep over 1000%. Until now, Google has allowed these companies to advertise their services on its AdWords platform. Effective July 13th, you won't see ads for these services from Google. Believe it or not, there are people who think publicly defending this industry is a good idea, and they're all over the comments on Google's post.
As HBO's John Oliver points out, borrowers often get stuck in cycles where these short-term, high-interest loans stack up. They can't afford to repay them on time, so they take out more loans. The fees and penalties frequently mean consumers end up paying many times the original value of the loan, and payday lenders know this. It's why such loans are so profitable, and why the advertising often targets low-income people.
Google is not banning specific companies, but rather specific products. It will no longer run ads for loans that are due within 60 days of issue, nor will ads for loans with APRs of 36% or more be allowed. This won't affect ads for other forms of credit like mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and so on. Say what you will about the morality of the financial industry in general; payday loans are a special kind of terrible. It's not like payday loans won't exist on July 13th, but Google doesn't want to support this industry anymore.
Google's post on this change has attracted a lot of attention, including from people who want to defend payday loans. Presumably, these people run payday loan storefronts or have some other vested interest. The arguments made are pretty ridiculous, accusing Google of telling people what's best for them or using faulty data. Some even try to pretend the industry is doing poor people a favor offering abusive loans. This is just the tip of the iceberg. You'll find plenty more shills complaining in every comment section on the internet, probably this one included. Let's be clear, though. Those people are dumb and wrong.