How to Verify Google Ads Account and Avoid Suspension
In the ever-evolving landscape of online advertising, staying compliant and trustworthy is paramount for both advertisers and platform providers. Google Ads, one of the world’s largest advertising platforms, has implemented a stringent verification process to enhance the transparency and security of its ecosystem. Whether you’re a seasoned digital marketer or just dipping your toes into the world of online advertising, understanding Google Ads verification is essential. In this post, we’ll dive into the intricacies of Google Ads verification, exploring its significance, requirements, and how it impacts your advertising campaigns. Join us on this journey as we demystify the world of Google Ads verification.
What is Google advertiser verification?
Google Advertiser Verification refers to a process implemented by Google to verify the identity and legitimacy of advertisers using its advertising platform, Google Ads (formerly known as Google AdWords). The primary goal of this verification process is to enhance transparency, trust, and safety within the Google Ads ecosystem, protecting both users and advertisers from fraudulent or misleading activities.
Key aspects of Google Advertiser Verification typically include:
Identity Verification: Advertisers are required to provide accurate information about their legal identity, business name, and contact details. Google may use various methods, such as government-issued IDs, business licenses, and other documentation, to verify this information.
Geographical Verification: Google may verify that an advertiser’s location aligns with their targeted geographic audience. This helps prevent deceptive practices, such as advertisers claiming to be based in one location while targeting a different one.
Business Operations Validation: Google may assess the legitimacy of an advertiser’s business operations, including their products or services, to ensure they comply with Google’s advertising policies.
Transparency in Political Advertising: In some regions, Google may have specific requirements for political advertisers to disclose their identities, funding sources, and other relevant information to increase transparency in political advertising.
Special Categories: Certain categories of advertisers, such as those in healthcare or finance, may have additional verification requirements to ensure they meet industry-specific regulations.
Verification Badges: Google may provide verified advertisers with a badge or icon, indicating to users that the advertiser has undergone the verification process.
How Does It Appear on the SERP?
On the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), users will now encounter a convenient drop-down arrow next to the ads displayed. Clicking on this arrow reveals two options: ‘Why this ad?’ and ‘About the Advertiser.’ Selecting either option will unveil the advertiser’s name and location, offering users valuable insights into the source and context of the ad.
Advertiser Verification Program Process
Google introduced the Advertiser Verification Program in March 2022 to bolster transparency and trust within its advertising ecosystem. Advertisers selected for verification will receive both an email notification and an in-account message.
If you’ve received an email notifying you of your selection for advertiser verification, you have a 30-day window to initiate the verification process. Subsequently, you’ll be granted an additional 30 days to fulfill all the necessary verification requirements. It is imperative to adhere to these deadlines, as failing to do so places your ad campaign at risk of suspension, preventing further ad placements.
The verification process encompasses several steps, including:
Providing essential business information
Confirming your identity
Validating your business operations
Providing Business Information
The initial phase of the Advertiser Verification Program centers around verifying your business operations. During this stage, Google will pose a series of straightforward questions related to your Google Ads account and business. Your responses, located in the ‘About your business’ section, serve to provide Google with a deeper understanding of your business.
Here are a few examples of the questions you might encounter:
Is your business categorized as an advertising agency?
Who is responsible for covering the costs of your ads?
Are you promoting your own products or services, or are you advertising on behalf of others?
What industry or industries does your business operate in?
It’s crucial to note that you must hold the role of a Google Ads account administrator and possess a solid grasp of the business operations and advertising practices associated with the Google Ads account undergoing verification.
Verifying Your Identity
Once you’ve successfully navigated the ‘About your business’ questionnaire, Google may request that you verify the legal name of the individual responsible for the advertising account.
This verification must be conducted by an authorized individual who serves as an administrator for both the Google Advertising account and the payment profile used to fund the ads. Upon initiating this process, you will be allotted a 30-day timeframe to complete the identity verification and any subsequent verifications, if necessary.
Failure to meet the submission criteria or adhere to the 30-day deadline will result in the temporary suspension of your account.
Please be aware that Google may mandate advertiser identity verification for your company or your client’s organization, particularly if you operate within an agency setting. The necessity for this verification hinges on the configuration of your Google Ads account.
Verifying Business Operations
Furthermore, Google might request additional verification regarding your business operations, contingent upon the responses provided in the ‘About your business’ section. If such a request is made, you will be required to furnish supporting documentation, including:
Your business model
The array of services offered by your business
Business registration particulars
Any affiliations with promoted brands, products, or third parties (if applicable)
This step is designed to ensure transparency and compliance with Google’s advertising policies, reinforcing trust within the digital advertising ecosystem.
Reasons to Verify Your Google Ad Account
1. Enhanced Trust and Credibility:
Completing the verification process demonstrates your commitment to transparency and legitimacy. It reassures users that your ads are coming from a reputable source, enhancing trust in your brand.
2. Exclusive Verified Badges for Your Ads (Freeing Up Branded Headlines)
Twitter’s iconic blue badge isn’t the only verification symbol in town anymore. Google now offers advertisers the opportunity to verify their identity and proudly display a shiny new badge alongside their ads. During testing, Google experimented with both blue and gold check badges, distinguishing verified advertisers on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
These verification badges carry significant potential for advertisers seeking to stand out from the competition, particularly against rivals relying on their strong brand reputation. These badges are a unique privilege for verified accounts and have the potential to directly impact ad performance, boosting click-through rates.
Beyond the visual appeal, these badges could also allow advertisers to replace some of their existing ad headlines, which are often devoted to reassuring searchers with phrases like “BRAND official site” and similar messages. While such headlines can improve ad performance, they might not be the most compelling messages. Most advertisers would likely welcome the opportunity to use their headlines more creatively.
3. Showcase Your Brand with the Business Name Asset (Exclusive to Verified Advertisers)
In late 2022, Google introduced exclusive ad features tailored for verified advertisers. One of these features is the brand-new Business Name Asset, enabling you to prominently display your business name above your ad.
This asset empowers you to assert the authenticity of your ads and amplify your brand’s visibility. Google can dynamically fetch this information from your website, or you can manually provide your Business Name Asset at the campaign level within Google Ads. It must adhere to these criteria:
Maximum of 25 characters.
Precisely match either the domain name or legal name of the verified business.
Prominently displayed on the ad’s landing page.
4. Customized Logo Assets for Verified Advertisers
Complementing the Business Name Asset, the Logo Asset is another exclusive feature for verified advertisers. This asset allows verified advertisers to incorporate a customized logo icon to the left of their ads, granting their PPC ads a favicon-like appearance, akin to organic search results.
For ads without a logo asset, a standard blue globe icon will serve as a placeholder.
Remember, Google’s new Logo Assets must:
Align with the advertised business and maintain consistency with the domain name.
Be square (1×1) aspect ratio.
Fall within the resolution range of 128×128 (minimum) to 1200×1200 (maximum).
Be compatible with both light and dark mode.
Consider that Google may render your logo as either a square or circular asset on the SERP, so ensure that any vital content in your small business logo is centered to avoid cutoff.
5. Priority Support from Google Ads
Managing Google Ads and adhering to Google’s policies can be a challenging task. Even diligent PPC account managers may encounter ad disapprovals. Google employs automated systems to scrutinize ads for compliance, sometimes resulting in overzealous disapprovals or account suspensions. Discovering that Google has suspended your account in error can be a distressing experience.
However, Google Ads’ support systems have often left advertisers wanting, with automated support promising a response within five business days, sometimes longer. For advertisers, this can be a worrisome timeline.
Yet, verified advertisers might find some relief from this potentially lengthy support queue. Google recently announced that, upon completing the verification process, some advertisers may qualify for prioritized appeals.
This prioritized appeal process enables advertisers to resolve issues more swiftly, reducing downtime, saving businesses significant revenue losses, and sparing them the stress and frustration of prolonged interactions with Google’s support team.
Getting Ready for Google’s Advertiser Verification
Now that you’re familiar with Google’s Advertiser Verification Program, it’s essential to proactively prepare for the verification process. Regardless of whether you’ve received an email prompting you to verify your account, we strongly advise gathering all necessary documents in advance to ensure you meet deadlines.
This multi-step process demands precision, and meticulous preparation is key to safeguarding your ad account from suspension.
Examples of Google Ads Verification Programs
Google had implemented several verification programs for advertisers and businesses to enhance trust and transparency in its advertising ecosystem. These programs were designed to verify the legitimacy and authenticity of advertisers. Here are some examples:
Business Operations Verification:
This program aimed to verify the business operations and authenticity of advertisers. Advertisers would need to provide information about their business, such as their physical location, contact details, and sometimes additional documentation like business licenses. This verification helped ensure that advertisers were accurately representing their businesses.
Political Advertising Verification:
In some regions, Google implemented verification programs specifically for political advertisers. Political advertisers were required to provide information about their organization, funding sources, and other relevant details. This program aimed to increase transparency in political advertising.
Pharmaceutical Advertising Verification:
For advertisers in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, Google had specific verification requirements to ensure compliance with legal and ethical standards. Advertisers in this industry often needed to provide additional documentation and information about their products and services.
Financial Services Verification:
Advertisers offering financial products and services were subject to verification to ensure they complied with industry-specific regulations and standards. This verification process often involved confirming the legitimacy of the financial institution and its services.
Third-Party Verification Partners:
Google partnered with third-party verification companies to offer additional layers of verification for certain types of advertisers. These partners would assess the validity of an advertiser’s claims and ensure compliance with Google’s policies.
As mentioned in a previous response, verified advertisers might receive verification badges, such as blue or gold checkmarks, next to their ads on the SERP. These badges signaled to users that the advertiser had successfully completed the verification process.
In conclusion, Google’s verification programs have played a pivotal role in fostering transparency, trust, and accountability within its advertising ecosystem. These programs, which encompassed various industries and categories, aimed to verify the legitimacy and authenticity of advertisers. Through processes such as business operations verification, political advertising verification, and more, Google sought to ensure that advertisers accurately represented their businesses, adhered to industry-specific regulations, and maintained ethical standards.
Verification badges, like blue or gold checkmarks, further bolstered advertisers’ credibility, signaling to users that they had successfully completed the verification process. Additionally, the introduction of exclusive assets, such as the Business Name Asset and Logo Asset, offered verified advertisers unique opportunities to enhance their ad visibility and brand recognition.
Moreover, the promise of priority support for verified advertisers underscored Google’s commitment to assisting advertisers in swiftly resolving issues and minimizing downtime, ultimately preserving revenue and peace of mind.