Google Increases Transparency by Requiring an Identity Verification

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Google is requiring an identity verification program for all its advertisers beginning this summer. 

The search-engine giant announced the new identity verification process last Thursday in its blog. This policy is in lieu of their policy update back in 2018 where identification verification was needed for political advertisers. That policy required all advertisers that were running for the election to undergo a verification program to help users learn more about the election ads they see on the platform. Using the program, Google was able to verify political advertisers across 30 countries. It provided transparency which is something that Google is focusing on at the moment. 

Starting this summer, all advertisers will be required to submit to a verification program starting with advertisers based in the US and then to other advertisers around the globe. The verification will be applicable for YouTube, Search, and Display. Buyers will have to provide the necessary information and will undergo a process that includes

  • Personal identification method
  • Business documents
  • Operating location

Users will now be able to check out the advertisers’ identity by clicking over their ads and tapping the about the advertiser option. It will be easier for users to understand what the company is and where it is from. This is one way for Google to weed out real advertisers from fake ones and thus limiting the advertising pool from misrepresentations. Google aims to free its servers from advertisers such as fake vaccines that have flooded the engines in the past few months. This will also rid Google from fake businesses. 

John Canfield, Google’s Director of Product Management, said that this may take years to complete. A the moment, advertisers selling products and services, advertisers promoting educational content, and heavily regulated industries such as gambling and healthcare will be prioritized. 

What does this mean for you?

Google’s verification program helps users make informed decisions if they’d click an ad or not. This greatly increases transparency between Google, the advertisers, and users. Marketers now have a longer process to go through before they can run their ads, especially with multiple clients. 

For more info refer to Google’s help page. Advertisers will be notified and will be given 30 days to process their verification and submit their documents. There will be another 30 days for the advertisers to complete the program. Failure to submit the requirements means that Google will no longer run the users’ ads. 

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