Google Ads creates a unified advertiser verification program

Google Ads will merge its advertising identification and business verification programs into a unified ad verification program in March, according to an email sent by Google Ads to select advertisers today.

The Google Ads Unified Advertising verification process is similar to the current identity verification process: you must provide your legal business or person name and any other supporting documentation. This information will be displayed in an advertisement.

The email (see full below) shared details of what will change.

New section: About your business. Google said it will ask advertisers questions (e.g. advertiser’s industry and billing country) related to their ads and Google Account, which will be displayed in a new section, About your business. Why? Thus, Google can understand whether you are a direct or indirect supplier of the advertised products or services.

Modification of the audit schedule. Advertisers must submit their About your business responses within 30 days. Failure to do so will result in your account being suspended. On top of that, Google said there would be an additional 30 days to complete any requested verifications, which could be identity, business operations, or both.

Advertisers previously had 30 days to begin identity verification and an additional 30 days to complete it. And advertisers previously had 21 days to complete business verification and a 7-day notice period before account suspension.

Six reasons why Google may suspend your account. Yes:

  • You don’t answer questions about your Google Ads account and your business.
  • Failing to complete or meet identity or business transaction verification requirements.
  • Google suspects that your ads violate Google Ads policies.
  • Google suspects that your advertisement may cause physical or financial harm to users.
  • Google suspects that you are trying to circumvent the verification process.
  • If your identity or advertising behavior has been identified as “unclear”.

Why we care. Google began its push for greater transparency in political advertising in 2018. These changes are all aimed at making it clear to people who are behind the ads they see and potentially click on. Hopefully this will make the user experience safer (e.g. less fraudulent and fraudulent ads) and improve the Google Ads ecosystem.

Here is the full text of the email sent by Google Ads:

In March 2022, Google will consolidate the current Advertiser Identity Verification and Business Transaction Verification programs into a unified Advertiser Verification program to provide a simplified and improved user experience. Similar to the current approach, advertisers will be notified via email and an in-account notification when they have been selected for the advertiser verification program.

Under this program, advertisers will be prompted to initiate the verification process within 30 days and will have an additional 30 days to complete all requested verification requirements, which may include several steps, including verifying their identity, of their business operations or both.

As part of the Unified Advertiser Verification Program, revised timelines and enforcements will be put in place, details of which are set out below.

What changes:

  • About your business: In the first step of the Unified Advertiser Verification program, Google will ask advertisers some basic questions about their Google Ads account and business in a new “About your business” section. The questions will ask, for example, the advertiser’s industry and billing country, as well as information to help Google understand whether it is a direct or indirect (third party) supplier of the products or services advertised on the Google Ads platform. Advertisers will have 30 days to submit their responses. If advertisers have not submitted their responses by the end of the 30th day, their account will be suspended.
  • Audit Schedule Updates: Responses after answering “About your business” questions will determine verification requirements and direct advertisers to next steps for additional verification, which may include verifying your identity, business operations, or both (see “Advertiser Selection Criteria Updates” section below). ). Advertisers will have 30 days to complete these additional checks successfully. Failure or non-compliance with the verification requirements within the specified time frame will result in account suspension. Note that the pause will only be applied at the end of the 30th day if advertisers have not completed or met the requirements.
    • For identity verification: Previously, advertisers had 30 days to begin verification and an additional 30 days to pass identity verification.
    • For business transaction verification: Previously, advertisers had 21 days to pass the business transaction verification, as well as a 7-day notice period before account suspension.
    • For Unified Advertiser Verification: Advertisers now have 30 days to complete “About your business” questions and an additional 30 days to complete any requested verifications, which may include verifying their identity , their business operations, or both.
  • Business Operations Verification Updates: To reduce administrative burden and provide a consistent and synchronized experience for our advertisers, we are aligning enforcement measures for all verification requirements under the Advertiser Verification Program. As a result of this alignment, non-compliance or non-compliance with trade transaction verification requirements (if requested) will now result in an account pause instead of an account suspension. This means that advertisers’ accounts will remain open, but their ads will not be able to run until they successfully complete this program. Note that the pause will only be applied at the end of the 30th day if advertisers have not completed or met the requirements.

To run ads again, advertisers must pass verification by submitting the requested survey responses, along with relevant documentation (if applicable).

  • Updates to advertiser screening criteria: As part of the unified advertiser verification program, we are combining advertiser screening criteria for the current advertiser identity verification and business transaction verification programs for a harmonized, introducing additional criteria to provide an increased layer of protection for our users and clarifying when advertisers’ accounts can be suspended immediately. Details below.
    • Additional Criteria: Google may require advertisers to complete the Advertiser Verification Program if, for example, they serve ads on brand-related queries or user queries in business verticals or industries likely to abuse, fraud and scams (such as travel, customer or technical issues). support services and financial services). When an advertiser is prompted for additional verification, advertisers’ campaign performance may be affected when they advertise on certain restricted Google queries. Passing the requested checks will help improve campaign performance (if applicable).
    • Criteria for Immediate Account Suspension: Under certain circumstances, we may suspend advertisers’ accounts immediately when the advertiser verification program is initiated. Your account may be suspended immediately for the following reasons:
      • If we suspect your ads violate our Google Ads policies, including, for example, misleading representations, unreliable claims, unidentified companies, company name requirements, solicitation of funds, sensitive events and coordinated misleading practices.
      • If we suspect that your advertising or business practices may cause physical or financial harm to users. Here are non-exhaustive examples: give a false image of yourself in the content of your ad; offer financial products or services under false pretences; or provide unauthorized customer support services on behalf of third parties.
      • If we suspect that you are trying to circumvent our verification process.
      • If your identity or advertising behavior has been identified as unclear.
  • Transparency and Disclosure: Similar to the current process followed in identity verification, as part of the identity verification and/or business operations steps, advertisers will be required to submit their legal business or personal name along with supporting documents for the unified advertiser. verification program. Along with the information provided by advertisers, Google will display the advertiser’s name and location via an advertisement. Learn more about advertising disclosures.

As part of Google’s ongoing efforts for transparency, we will also make publicly available information about your Google Ads accounts and ad campaigns.

  • User Experience Improvements: Advertisers will be able to initiate, monitor the status and progress of their verifications, and view failure reasons (if any) in a new user interface under the Billing and Payment Settings tab from their Google Ads account. Advertisers can access this interface through in-product prompts and notifications.

These changes will not affect the scope or requirements of other Google verification programs. We will begin rolling out these updates to streamline the experience on March 31, 2022 with a two-month ramp-up.

Thank you for your collaboration.


The Google Ads team

New to Search Engine Land

About the Author

Danny Goodwin is editor of Search Engine Land. In addition to writing daily about SEO, PPC and more for Search Engine Land, Goodwin also manages Search Engine Land’s roster of subject matter experts. He also participates in the programming of our conference series, SMX – Search Marketing Expo. Prior to joining Search Engine Land, Goodwin was editor-in-chief of Search Engine Journal, where he led the brand’s editorial initiatives. He was also an editor at Search Engine Watch. He has spoken at many major research conferences and virtual events, and has been sought out for his expertise by a wide range of publications and podcasts.

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