Earlier today, Google announced that they will begin requiring documentation of user identity as well as geographic location for advertisers. This newest development is tied to their 2018 policy update requiring identification verification for political advertisements.
New Verification Requirements for Google PPC Advertisers
The Google PPC Verification program will include:
- Personal identification methods
- Business incorporation documents
- Other items to verify who they are
- Operating geography
The verification program will begin with businesses in the U.S. It will then be rolled out internationally. This program affects all advertisers in Search, Display, and YouTube. Google stated it will take a few years to complete verification for all advertisers.
Certain industries will be prioritized in the phased roll out, and will be notified accordingly. They will have 30 days to submit the required verification upon receiving notice it is required. Once submitted, it takes about 3-5 days for Google to verify.
Failure to submit the information within 30 days will result in ads being stopped.
Disclosures will show the trademarked/legal name of the advertiser, and not the entity who is necessarily managing the ads.
This means agencies who run ads on behalf of a client will not be required to verify.
However, a Google rep stated agencies and Google Partners will be able to submit on behalf of their clients.
What Will Change for Users?
Users will start to see disclosures on ads about the identity of the advertiser, which will appear below the “Why this Ad?” option. The information will include Advertiser name, country location, and a toggle option to stop receiving ads from them.
In Display, the information will be available via the Ad Choices icon, or the “x” that appears on the banner.
In YouTube, the information will be available by clicking the “i” icon or the three dot icon that appears in every ad.
Why Will Google Ads Require Verification?
In continuing strides towards ads transparency, Google is attempting to “provide greater transparency and equip users with more information about who is advertising to them,” according to the announcement from Jack Canfield, Director of Product Management, Ads Integrity.
On their blog, Google wrote:
Ads play a major role in sustaining the free and open web. They underwrite the great content and services that people enjoy and support a diverse universe of creators and publishers. But the ad-supported web is at risk if digital advertising practices don’t evolve to reflect people’s changing expectations around how data is collected and used.
The mission is clear: we need to ensure that people all around the world can continue to access ad supported content on the web while also feeling confident that their privacy is protected. As we shared in May, we believe the path to making this happen is also clear: increase transparency into how digital advertising works, offer users additional controls, and ensure that people’s choices about the use of their data are respected.Google