On April 23, Google dropped a bombshell of a new requirement for advertisers. They will now require advertiser identity verification and geographic location documentation. With political advertisements being an issue in the past, Google tied its new policy to one from 2018 which required identification for political advertisements. Today, all advertisements must undergo similar verification increasing Google’s transparency.

google ads verification illustration

However, this doesn’t mean advertisers should drop everything they’re doing to start the verification process. Google mentioned that it would take a few years to complete with certain industries prioritized. It will apply to all display, search, and YouTube ads. Additionally, the rollout will begin in the U.S. and expand across the globe.

What this means for advertisers

The advertiser identity verification includes:

  • Personal identification
  • Business documentation
  • Geographical business operation
  • Possibly other identification variables

User identity will include the operating or trademarked name of the business rather than the individual managing the ads. When another individual does manage an ad such as an agency managing them on the advertiser’s behalf, verification is not required. However, these entities may still send in a submission.

Advertisers will be notified, then have 30 days to submit the verification. After submission, Google takes three to five days to process it. Furthermore, after 30 days with no submission, ads will cease to run.

What this means for the user experience

With the advertiser identity verification submitted and processed, users will begin to locate the new information. To do this, users would locate the dropdown option next to the ad’s URL. This feature initially contained only the “Why this ad?” option. 

Now, users will see an “About the advertiser” option located beneath it. It will include the name of the advertiser, the country inhabited, and the option to stop seeing ads from the advertiser. Similarly, in display ads, once a user clicks on the “x” that appears on the banner, they will also see “About the advertiser.” YouTube ads will contain the option once clicking the “i” or three-dot icon.

user checking Advertiser Identity Verification to learn more

Why Google Ads chose to include the advertiser

In the past couple of years, online advertising used its strategy and data collection for unethical purposes. Google made the decision to increase its transparency by including information about the advertiser.

“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.” – Jack Canfield, Director of Product Management, Ads Integrity.

From both the users and advertisers, reactions have been mostly positive. However, some advertisers voiced their concern saying that it may lead to accidental clicks costing their clients money. When a user wants to learn more about the ad, they might click on the link instead of the dropdown. Even so, the dropdown already exists as well as the option to learn more about the ad.

Work with a reputable advertiser

Azure Digital exists to provide small and medium-sized businesses the online ability to pass your competition and compete with the largest players in your category. Our experience with B2B, B2C, government entities, e-commerce, and non-profits allows us to share ideas, success stories across industries, and multiple verticals and put them to work for you. We look forward to partnering with you in demonstrating a successful, well-executed digital advertising strategy.