Google had announced a recent important Google Ads update. They are requiring all advertisers on their platform “to complete a verification program in order to buy ads” on the Google Ads network. This idea was brought up previously. However, the program is now being activated for all advertisers now. As Google explains here, certain advertisers will be required to submit some form of verification that will prove the legitimacy of their legal business or their individual name. This, of course, will be done through providing supporting documentation.
The verification program will first begin in the United States and will apply to Search, Display and YouTube advertisements. However, over time, it will be rolled out globally. Other details include that advertisers that are required to complete the verification program will be notified and given 30 days to complete and submit the verification form. Once the advertiser submits it, it will take about three to five days for Google to verify the information given. However, failure to fully complete the given program within the 30 days may result in not only ad restrictions, but Google may also stop your ads all together.
Google will also be adding new ad disclosures to each advertisement. Such disclosures will display the advertiser’s name and country. Overall, the verification program will involve the following:
- Business incorporation documents
- Personal identification methods
- Operating geography (country, etc.)
- Possibly other forms of proof to verify who they are
Why Google Ads Is Rolling Out This Program
According to the announcement from Jack Canfield, Director of Product Management, Ads Integrity, Google is trying to “provide greater transparency and equip users with more information about who is advertising to them”. He also further explains the following:
“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.”
What Changes Users Will Experience in Ads
As mentioned earlier, Google is planning to add disclosures to all ads that are verified. This disclosure will simply give details on the identity of the advertiser. A small downwards arrow will be added to such ads, and when pressed, it will show a “Why this Ad?” option. Upon pressing this option, the following option will appear:
- Advertiser name
- Country location
- A toggle option to stop receiving ads from them
For Display ads, the following information will be available on the Ad Choices icon, or the “x” that is on the following banner. For YouTube ads, the disclosure information can be viewed by clicking the “i” icon, as well as the three dot icon in the ad.
What Does This Change Mean?
Some would argue that there are both some positives, but also some downsides to the Google Ads update. The security aspect is a great improvement, as this would help keep out illegitimate advertisers from using Google Ads and competing against real users. However, a possible downside is that there could be an influx of accidental clicks. This is due to the fact the disclosure arrow is being added to each advertisement is actually very small, and some people may accidentally click the ad rather than the small arrow symbol.