Breaking News: Google Ads to Require Identity Verification

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Google has recently announced that it will begin requiring documentation of user identification and geographic location for Google Ads Advertisers.

The new Google’s policy is tied to its 2018 policy update requiring identification verification for political advertisements.

Requirements for Google Ads Advertisers

This verification program will include as following:

  1. Personal identification methods
  2. Business incorporation documents
  3. Possibly other items to verify who they are
  4. Operating geography

The policy program will start in the U.S. and roll out globally and will apply to Search, Display, and YouTube Ads.

Google noted they believe it will take a few years to complete verification for the entire Google ads ecosystem.

Some industries will be prioritized in a phased roll-out and notified accordingly. They will have 30 days to submit the required verification upon receiving notice from Google that it is required. Once submitted, it takes about 3-5 for Google Ads to verify.

Failure to submit the required information within 30 days will result in Google Ads being stopped.

Disclosures will show the trademarked and legal name of the advertiser, and not the entity who is necessarily managing the ads.

This means agencies who run Google Ads on behalf of the end customer will not be required to verify. However, a Google rep stated agencies and Google Partners will be able to submit on behalf of their customers.

Related: Read how to boost organic traffic from on-page SEO.

What Changes for User Experience in Google Ads

Tied to this change, end-users will start to see disclosures on Google ads about the identity of the Google Ads advertiser.

It will appear below the “Why this Ad?” option.

The information will include Google Ads Advertiser name, country location, and a toggle option to stop receiving Google ads from them.

Google Ads Verification

In Display, the required information will be available via the Google Ads Choices icon, or the “x” that appears on the Ad banner.

On YouTube, the information will be available by clicking the “i” icon or the three-dot icon that appears in every YouTube ad.

Why Google Ads Will Require Identification Verification

Google Ads is attempting to “provide more clarity and equip end-users with more information about who is advertising to them,” according to the announcement from Nitin Sharma, Director, Optimum Logic Private Limited.

“This change will make it easier for end-users to understand who the advertiser is behind Google Ads 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 the misuses of the advertisement.”

Reaction from Industry

The reaction by Digital marketers has been mixed. Some of the Concerns have been raised about the small arrow required to view the information. It is close to the title and may cost advertisers money as well as accidental ad clicks.

Others are happy to see the change, noting the security aspect of keeping out unauthorized advertisers.