Google Ads advertisers will soon be required to provide identity verification in order to use the service. The move has been billed as an initiative to provide greater transparency behind ads shown to users of Google’s products.
The process will apply to any advertiser looking to use Google’s search or display network to run ads, in addition to ads on Google-owned, YouTube.
It follows Google’s decision in 2018 that requires political advertisers to provide identity verification which has seen advertisers in 30 countries become verified to run political ads.
The process will require all advertisers to provide personal identification, business registration documents or other information that proves who the advertiser is.
Speaking on it’s Google Ads blog, Google has said that the 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.”
Google will begin launching the initiative in the US market before rolling it out across other international markets.
Analysis – get ready to provide what’s needed
If your organisation relies on Google’s advertising products, and let’s face it, many do, you’ll need to get ready to work through the verification process.
Google is beginning the rollout process in the US before going global. The scale of Google’s advertising ecosystem is vast and encompasses its search engine, a network of partner sites and YouTube. Because of this, it’s possible that Google will prioritise particular sectors.
Financial advertisers should be braced for the change sooner than perhaps other sectors. Financial services fall under the so-called ‘YMYL’ category of providers (your money, your life), a piece of search industry jargon that describes providers of websites and services that have the potential to impact a person’s financial position or health.
Financial advertisers have a requirement to provide accurate information so Google’s aim of “detecting bad actors” is of particular importance in the sector.