Google Ads Advertiser Identity Verification Program

April 23, 2020
By: Tyler Hanson

A New Process

Today the Google Ads team has announced a new process with verifying advertisers within their Google Ads platform. Essentially Google is wanting to increase the transparency of their platform by providing the verified name and country of ads and advertiser is wanting to serve. There has already been a version of “Why This Ad?” being displayed to users via search, display, Youtube, etc., but they are adding a new prompt “About The Advertiser”.

See the example Google provided below:

You can see how it appears with all the different ad formats at their support page here.

Verification Process

Again, at this time they are rolling this out in phases and only certain advertisers are being prioritized into this program starting out, but we will start seeing it more in the next few weeks. Let’s look at though what will need to be done and how this process will work as we know it now.

Part 1: Company Verification

Once the advertiser has been notified of the requirement they will have 30 days to submit the needed documentation and start the process with Google or else their account will stop running ads. The advertiser will need to supply their W-9 form or another IRS document. Google needs to be able to see the advertiser’s legal business name, address, and EIN. Here are some important parts about this:

  • process must be completed by an authorized representative of the company.
  • Agencies are able to complete this process if they are managing their account.
  • Country must match the country submitted with your company verification documents
  • The name submitted as your advertiser name within Google Ads must match your legal name submitted with your company verification documents.
  • You have 30 days to get Google these documents.
  • Google will review them within 3-5 business days.

Part 2: Account Identity Verification

This part is very similar to part 1 where you will need to submit your company organization documents like your W-9 or other IRS document showing your name, address/country, and EIN. The next step of this part is that authorized representatives and individuals will need to submit their U.S. government issued photo IDs. Documents they can submit are passports, national/state ID/, drivers license, residence permit.

This part applies mainly for the payments profile associated to your Google Ads account. This will help mitigate fraudulent card activity in the future.

Business Operation

This verification process is separate from the identity verification process. This also will not be required of all advertisers, but those that Google will want to know more about. Essentially, they will want to learn more in depth about your business operations. From the services you offer, how you operate your business, and the relationships you have with advertised 3rd parties.

Google provided some guidance as to why you may be selected to go through this verification and that includes:

  • behavior is identified to be unclear
  • misleading advertising

Google also indicates that upon this verification they may deem your business your business as unclear and prevent anymore ads from running.

Our Thoughts

Some may see this as more overreach and intrusion from Google to “know” everything, but in reality our opinion is that this is leads the way into more visibility for advertisers and protects the platform and users. With a verification process of legitimate businesses we may see eventually the ability to advertise those more restricted industries with a detailed process and examination of the business operations. I think this will also help with business that try to play the double serving game. Google will be able to catch these instances quicker this way.

Additionally, the verification of the individuals will be great to help with the issues of fraudulent card use. You can see examples of this verification process in many services like freelancer.com.

We are looking forward to the opportunities that arise out of this change.

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