Google’s Advertising Verification Program and What You Need to Know

Google’s Advertising Verification Program

What You Need to Know

Amidst the ongoing wave of digitalization, online users have increased their expectations regarding privacy and the collection and usage of their data. In order to build trust, Google has introduced a program known as the Advertiser Verification Program. This program aims to enhance trust in Google’s advertising ecosystem by providing users with additional information about the organizations responsible for the ads that are shown to online searchers. Once the verification process is successfully completed, users will have the ability to access to view more comprehensive information about the advertisers.

Within this article, you will learn more about Google’s Advertiser Verification Program including what it is, what we are doing to help you through the process, and what you need to prepare so when you receive the request to complete the verification process, you are ready to send us what we need to help you complete the process as quickly and as painlessly as possible.

Without further delay, let us delve straight into the details!

The Purpose of the Program

What is the Google Advertiser Identification Program? The initial version of this program was introduced in 2018, when Google unveiled a policy for verifying the identity of political advertisements. However, to fulfill its commitment to transparency and to grant users more control over their privacy and the ads they encounter on the platform, Google has expanded the verification program to encompass all advertisers, irrespective of whether they are running electoral ad campaigns. This decision was made to ensure that individuals can access ad-supported websites while feeling secure in the knowledge that their privacy is being respected. To streamline the process, identity verification and business operations verification have been consolidated into a single program which is what most advertisers are having to work through currently.

Prior to the consolidation, identity verification only required the verification of identification documents, whereas the verification of business operations required the submission of certain documents which were outlined by Google to proceed with the verification of one’s business.

It is worth noting that once you complete your verifications, searchers using Google will now see a dropdown arrow by any ads shown to users. By clicking on the arrow, two options will be revealed: “Why this ad?” and “About the Advertiser.” Selecting either option will present the name and location of the advertiser.

Understanding The Process

In March of 2022, Google introduced the Advertiser Verification Program. When an advertiser is selected for verification,  as well as an in-account message.

The opportunity to verify your account arises when Google extends an invitation to do so. Upon receiving an email notification, there will be a 30-day window to commence the verification process. In addition to notifying our team via email, notifications are also sent to any user that has access to the Google Ad account, such as your corporate team, and any other users on your ad account including an in-account notification displayed at the top of your account.

Once we have been notified via email that you have been chosen for advertiser verification, we will notify you immediately and outline what is required from you as there is only a short 30-day window to complete the verification process. Failure to meet the deadlines will put your ad account at risk of suspension, which will prevent us from running ads in order to prevent that, we will notify you and if applicable, we will also notify your corporate team and send a follow-up email communication if we do not hear back from you within 2-3 business days.

The verification process may encompass multiple stages, including:

  1. Providing pertinent information about your business.
  2. Verifying your identity.
  3. Verifying your business operations.

Understanding What to Expect

Providing Information About Your Business

The initial step of the Advertiser Verification Program entails verifying your business operations. At this stage, Google will pose several fundamental questions pertaining to your Google Ads account and your business. The answers we provide in the “About your business” section will aid Google in developing a deeper comprehension of your business.

Let’s explore some sample questions you may encounter:

  • Is your business an advertising agency?
  • Who covers the expenses of your ads?
  • Do you promote your own products or services, or those of others?
  • What industry or industries do you operate in?

Please note that you must be a Google Ads account administrator, and you must possess a thorough understanding of the operational aspects and advertising practices associated with the Google Ads account you are seeking to verify. If you are actively working with CyberMark for advertising management, we will handle the various steps related to the verification process and will reach out to you for any identification documents required as well as any Business Operations documentation.

Verifying Your Identity

Upon successfully completing the “About your business” questions, Google may request verification of the legal name of the individual accountable for the advertising account.

Next, you will undergo identity verification, which entails confirming the name and location of your business or, if applicable, yourself as an individual operating without a registered business. The specific documentation required varies by country, offering numerous options. However, a certificate of incorporation (for businesses) or a passport (for individuals) are among the most common and suitable choices in both the United States and Canada. It is worth noting, any documentation requested should be provided to us or to Google legible and with high resolution so they are as easy to view as possible. If any documents provided are blurry (even slightly) or are illegible due to fading or cut-off information Google may not accept them which would result in delays in verification.

After submitting all the necessary information, Google will typically respond within 7 days (often sooner) to confirm the completion of the verification process or inform you if the verification request has been rejected. In the event of rejection (often without any clear reasons as to why) we will have to review the documents and request different documents. If we have to resubmit documents, we ask for your support and patience as we work to help find a resolution on your behalf.

What Happens After Verification

Upon successful verification, your ads will exhibit a widget, such as a three-dot hamburger menu, enabling users to access general information about your business.

Google has been experimenting with various widget designs, so you may encounter slightly different appearances. Furthermore, Google has been exploring the implementation of “verified” badges.

Shortly after verification, you will gain the ability to include your company name and logo assets (previously referred to as extensions) in your account. These assets will be displayed alongside your search ads, replacing the generic “world” icon and domain. Significantly, these transparency features can enhance buyer confidence, leading to increased click-through rates (CTRs) and potentially higher conversion rates.

To wrap this up, when you’re tagged “it” to complete the verification process, we will work with you to complete the steps but we will need your help too. So keep an eye out for emails from our team and if you have any questions, you can reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help.

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