But as Google always likes to point out, if you stay informed and run your business in accordance with their best practices you won’t have to worry about anything. This March (2022) update regarding changes to Google ads review process will also set a standard for the way we verify and run ads on search engines. So what are these latest Google ads changes about?
In order to have advertisements on your website you need to set up your google ads account. Since they are big on transparency, you will be asked to verify your name which will from then on be displayed on all ad campaigns you run. The newly implemented Google ads changes want to guarantee full disclosure, so users know who stands behind all the ads that might get displayed. This should in turn generate trust among users since it will provide them with relevant information. All the additional data should ease the decision processes of clicking on an ad or banning a particular advertisement or advertiser.
Ad Google settings will allow the user to personalize their ad experience. But not everyone is aware of that, or knows how to control the ads they see even. So it is up to Google to take care of it’s users through Google ads changes and policy updates like these. Otherwise some advertisers with a lack of ethics would run rampant. So it is both up to users, advertisers and ad platforms to regulate the internet commercials. Since advertising brings in most of Google’s income, they are not going to leave things up to chance, but make strategic and thought out Google ads changes. These recent updates are how they plan to do it!
Google ads changes what is that?
Well, there are some tweaks going on on a weekly basis and you can stay in touch with everything here by following new features and announcements. But not all updates coming to life with these Google ads changes may concern you. These latest updates regarding the use of Google adword are related to its verification processes. In fact, Google has decided to combine it’s advertiser identity verification and business verification processes into a single one. These Google ads changes will try to make things simple and it just made sense from a project standpoint. One thing that did not change with this Google ads changes update, besides the google ads editor staying free, is that you will get notified about the verification process via email. After you receive this note, you have a 30 day window to begin your process, and an additional 30 days to complete all the steps.
While you have basically one month to complete the verification, Google has given itself a vague deadline of covering all advertisers in the next few years. As usual, they will start with the US and expand to other markets from there. So these new timeframes and enforcement actions are the ones being unified for the review process that advertisers have to go through. In case it’s still unclear to you, I’d suggest visiting the Google ads support page and reading everything for yourself. But if you are just concerned with identity verification and what is google ads changes in regard to your responsibility as the advertiser, scroll down because we summarized the relevant stuff.
The most important thing to know is that advertiser identity verification and business verification processes are now harmonized. You don’t have to do separate verifications anymore. So how did the Google ads changes solve the areas where these two don’t overlap? By introducing additional verification for certain things, and addressing certain businesses first. Let’s see who will be hit by this rollout in the first wave:
- Information sensitive industries (health, education, financial advice, charity organizations, etc.)
- Product placement & promotion of goods and services (travel, retail, technology, B2B, entertainment, etc.)
- Promotion of industries that require additional regulations (gambling, financial products & services, healthcare products, CBD, firearms, etc.)
So if you are an advertiser who wants to promote content in one of the industries listed above, you will be prioritized by Google. But other industries will follow eventually so this is how you will prove your identity.
The latest Google ads changes document says that an authorized representative has to fill out the documentation and submit it within 30 days. If more verification is necessary, an additional 30 day period will be provided to you. If you don’t do this in time, your account will be paused. In case you fail to complete the verification numerous times your account will also get paused, but not suspended.
Your account will be paused immediately if:
- Your ads violate the google ads advertising policies that include (Misleading Representation, Unsubstantiated Claims, Fundraising, Coordinated Deceptive Practices, Unidentified Company)
- Yor ads affect users physically or financially (misleading ad content, promoting under false pretenses, unauthorized customer support on behalf of a third party)
- You attempt to bypass the verification process
- You have an unclear identity or advertising behavior
To see what documentation is accepted and required, check your region on this official website with advertisement google policies. After advertisers get verified, these information about their campaigns will be available for the public according to Google ads changes compliance:
- Advertiser name change history
- Dates and locations ads served
- Removed ads or accounts suspended for legal or policy reasons
- Business contact information
Personal contact information, phone numbers, or email addresses will not be published!
Verification of business operations
If you are a business, you will have to answer some straightforward questions. Obviously, what industry you are in plays the most important role. We listed the ones that will be prioritized by the Google ads changes in the previous section, but certain advertisers will need additional verification if they promote content for industries that require more local or state regulation. To no surprise, those are Games and Gambling, Healthcare and medicines, Financial product or services, CBD and tobacco, Firearms, etc. Once you prove you have all the licensing and meet the government requirements, you may have to complete some extra identity checks. Google would never allow illegitimate advertisers to promote content associated with these industries, so make sure you follow the rules and timeline if you want to stay in business after these latest Google ads changes.
So what else does Google want from you?
Well your billing country for starters. This takes care of the use of unauthorized cards and payment. Certain countries are only allowed specific billing methods and the currency can be different. But these can be changed manually through your Ads account.
Another aspect of the coming Google ads changes is them asking you whether you are a direct or a third party business provider. Gambling affiliates who are indirect providers for the I-gaming industry, may require licensing in some US states, so Google may also ask for additional verification and paperwork to prove you are legitimate. Try and bypass this and you might be hit with a warning first, or even a suspension.
Another area that will require additional verification as stated by the Google ads changes is accessing advanced ad formats and features. For unlocking HTML5 ads and Local Services ads you may not need just additional verification steps. You will also have to meet some requirements that include a clean history of policy compliance and a certain amount of money spent on ads so far ($9000 for HTML display ads). The local ads simply have to comply with local laws and age restrictions.
This all may seem like a bunch of extra steps implemented by the Google ads changes, but this was all introduced in order to minimize the administrative effort needed to get verified and to standardize the process on a larger scale.
We already mentioned that trying to be vague or bypassing the requirements will not be condoned by Google. You risk getting your account paused, or a warning that may lead to a suspension if that happens more than once. In no circumstances should you try and manipulate the text, image, videos, domain, or subdomains to try and out-trick as it won’t pay off. This is something Google prides on and they constantly make their Google ads changes to close down even the smallest loophole possible.
People have tried to play smart before and misspell certain keywords to bypass the ad restrictions. Used imagery that resembles the trademarked content just enough, but it never works in the long run. You may get away with it at the moment, but once it gets flagged, your entire account and all ads linked to it will get suspended. So if you are working for numerous clients, have in mind that a penalty or policy violation may result in losing all ads and all the clients.
If you do get a warning, you have 7 days before the suspension happens. If you get caught once, don’t try and think you’ll outsmart them again. This is a clear signal to you that you should play everything by the book. If you didn’t know you did something wrong, don’t worry, the alert will let you know. After that, you can examine your ads to fix or completely remove the sensitive content.
We read the Google ads changes file and it states that you as an advertiser have the responsibility to:
- Avoid use of malware or software that is not transparent about it’s functionality
- Try not to oversaturate and create a monopoly by dumping money into ads to rank for all the same and important keywords
- Not use evasive ad content
- Do not attempt to circumvent the system (have different ads to google bots and users known as cloaking, provide false information, create new accounts after a violation, or use techniques in an attempt to obfuscate content)
- Always follow the webmaster guidelines
In summation of these Google ads changes, we have to agree that the guidelines are pretty clear. The policies should be followed like 10 commandments written in stone by the big Google God in the world wide web around us, except they wrote them in a much more accessible format. And make no mistake, the punishments can have Biblical proportions if you don’t play by their rules. With this metaphor, we just want to show you that if you don’t prepare well for the new unified review process, you will lose. This time Google tried to make things easy for us digital advertisers, we should consider ourselves lucky that this update will make the ad review process faster as most work will be done while we verify our accounts.