Over the past few years, there has been an influx of fake ads for things such as vaccines and businesses. Google’s latest attempt to try and get rid of these ads is to have advertisers verify themselves online. This now-required Google verification process aims to decrease advertisers from misrepresenting themselves and assist users in determining who are running the ads they are seeing and what country the advertisers are located in.
Google Verification Requirements
Google’s identity verification process started in 2018 to ward off fake political accounts spreading false information. Now they have decided to expand it to all advertisers to put a halt on all fake advertisements. The verification process will include:
- Personal Identification Methods
- Business Incorporation Documents
- Possibly Other Items to Verify who They are
- Operating Geography
The Google verification process will apply to Search, Display and YouTube. If an industry is notified by Google that they need to submit proof of verification for themselves, they will have 30 days to do so. Then, once you submit your proof, it will take about three to five days for Google to verify the account. If you do not submit your verification within the 30-day limit, the ads associated with your account will be stopped.
What this Means for Users
This whole process is an attempt to create more transparency between advertisers and users. Depending on where you are seeing the ad, between Google Display, Search and YouTube will determine how you can see the identity information.
When you see an ad under Search, under the “Why this ad” option, the advertiser’s name, country location, and an option to stop seeing the ad will be displayed.
If you see the ad under Display, the information will be available via the Ad Choices icon, and you can stop seeing the under by clicking the “x” in the top right corner.
If you are seeing the ad on YouTube, you can click the “i” button or the three-dot icon that appears in every ad and all of the information will be available to you.
All advertisers will be required to complete the Google verification, no exceptions. If you are an advertising agency, you can verify the identity on behalf of your advertising clients.