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Starting in the US, Google will now require advertisers to verify their identities for ads served through Google Ads. Through this new policy, users will be able to see the advertiser’s name and country disclosed in the ‘Why This Ad?’ dropdown next to the ad headline. The verification program, officially known as ‘Business Operations Verification’ program, is designed to improve transparency for Google’s users and builds on the options already available to ‘block an ad or advertiser’ and other ‘Ad Settings’. Why is Google doing this and what does this mean for you?


What is Advertiser Identity Verification in Google?

In 2018, Google announced some updates to their policies for political advertisers. After the furore of Donald Trump being elected and the suspected influence of Russia along the way, it was time for the US tech giants to make some changes to their policies.

You can find all of the information that you need here on the business operations verification program.

This made it compulsory for all political advertisers to go through a verification program to confirm their identity. Google have said that this has been a successful step to being more transparent with their users and have successfully verified political advertisers in over 30 countries. For Google’s users, it means that they will be able to see selected information from the advertiser from their Name to Location. To do this, they need to click on the drop down next to the advertisers domain, and select ‘About the advertiser’.

Google - Advertiser Verification Program

Credit: Google Ads, 2020

Now, Google is requiring all advertisers who buy ads on their network to participate in the business operations verification program.


What does this mean for you?

Advertisers need to submit information starting from this summer in the US. It will roll out globally over the next few years

Google have admitted that this will be a big job. In their recent post via Google Ads Help, they have said that the program will start in the US first and then gradually roll out globally. Advertisers will receive and email when it’s their turn to verify their identity.

This appears to be a one-time process for advertisers which is good news for teams managing campaigns. It might increase some of the initial logistical work to get accounts up and running, but ultimately the benefits outweigh the laziness!

You have 30 days to submit your documentation once it has been requested

The whole process from notification to submitting the documentation has to be done within 30 days. If you don’t submit your documentation in the first 21 days, you’ll get a notification with your 7 day warning before your ads stop running.

Ultimately, its a good thing for everyone. It get’s rid of bad advertisers and improves user experience by giving more power to the people

We wrote in depth back in 2018 about the fact that users could now start to ‘Mute Reminder Ads‘ in their Google profiles. I’m a firm believer in giving users as much control as possible as to which advertisers should be able to target them. All in all, it increases trust and relevance in advertising which helps the user and the advertiser.

Over recent years, there has also been a rise in premium contact centre ads spamming the results pages for selected queries that contact “contact” or “number”. I don’t know about you, but I find them super annoying and particularly unhelpful if you are an advertiser managing campaigns on behalf of a brand. They ramp up costs and provide a sub-par experience for users. This new program can help weed out these bad practices, plus many more across different verticals.

Dan Roberts
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