In 2018, Google made identify verification a requirement for political advertisers, a mandate which is in place across 30 countries. The ad buying process is often changing, but now Google is coming out with a new rule. In April, Jack Canfield, Google’s Director of Product Management, announced that all advertisers will need to identify themselves as part of the ad buying process with both their name and location.
As web scams, spams, price gouging and false information are proliferating, especially during COVID-19. As a result, platforms are seeking paths to security and transparency. Another reason for this implementation is due to concerns over fake businesses on Google Maps, fake vaccines and certain categories that are manipulated for fraudulent purposes.
Google will offer four weeks for people to complete the verification process, or they will be penalized and have their ad removed. Agencies and Google Partners will have the ability to submit this information on behalf of their clients. If you are selling a product or service, producing educational information, or marketing healthcare and other regulated industries, you will be high priority. Google employees will be vetting this entire process. The change will start in the U.S., and eventually move to other countries.
Advertisers will need evidence of their identity and country of origin, which means they need to present appropriate documentation. Ad viewers will have the ability to check on this information by clicking on “About the advertiser” alongside the promotion. Users will also see a toggle option to forgo ads from that advertiser.
According to Search Engine Journal, here are the full requirements:
Google representative Canfield’s perspective is this:
“This change will make it easier for people to understand who the advertiser is behind the ads they see from Google and help them make more informed decisions when using our advertising controls. It will also help support the health of the digital advertising ecosystem by detecting bad actors and limiting their attempts to misrepresent themselves.”
Many marketers look on the new identity verification requirement favorably and believe it will help keep out fake advertisers. Some paid search marketers, however, decry the arrow functionality that may cost them extra clicks. Either way, marketers will need to adjust to this new change in the industry, and we’ll have to wait and see whether the outcome will be more positive than negative.
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