Google constantly tries to improve its service quality, offering transparency and seamless experiences to its customers/users. In that vein, the internet behemoth is committed to providing extended choices and control over ads and has, therefore, started verifying advertisers’ identities.
Transparency isn’t a new concept in Google Ads. The company has long offered the option for Ad personalization as well as the “why this ad” feature, which explains the reasons why an individual might see a specific ad. These options allow you to find out information about your activity, your preferences, and the type of ads you are served, as well as details about the advertiser. Some ads include a feature “paid for by” that you can click on and discover who’s behind a specific ad. Additionally, Google is gradually verifying advertisers’ identities in a continuous effort to increase transparency and provide transparency on how they’re serving ads.
Identity verification isn’t a new concept on Google Ads, as it started back in 2018. At first, only ads related to political advertising and elections had to verify their identity. That was the first initiative in the full-transparency objective, as searchers could check the identity on the ad, click on it, and learn more about the elections, who was serving the ad, and why they were seeing it. A few months ago, Google decided to extend this initiative and require identity verification from a wider advertiser pool.
We’ve recently seen several of our law firm clients who are running PPC campaigns undergo this process. As we’re aiding them through it, we are here to update you with what’s required and how you can make sure you’ll be able to show your ads on the Google Network and get in front of prospective clients.
- This is Google’s mission behind this identity program verification, as explained by their dedicated page: “At Google, our goal is to make more information about the ad experience universally available and accessible. Broadening our verification policy is the next step in reaching that goal. We’ll continue to look for additional ways to increase transparency in ads for our users.”
- Who is getting in the identity verification initiative?
Apart from any political advertiser, Google is starting with verifying advertisers in the US, especially those promoting products or services in regulated industries, information, and advisory or educational content. They’re then moving to other categories.
- What happens if Google picks my law firm for identity verification?
You will get an email in your linked account explaining the steps you’ll need to follow, which will depend on your account setup. Please note that if you receive such a request and wish to keep your ads active, you’ll need to follow the instructions and complete the process within 30 days.
If you are promoting your law firm, your account is set up as a business, so there are two potential ways you’ll be asked to verify, depending on your payments setup.
- If the account is set up with automatic/manual payments, you’ll need to send over your registration documents, including your Law Firm’s legal name and country. The files Google is accepting are the following:
– W9 form
-Any IRS-issued letter or notice (not IRS forms) showing your name, address, and EIN (i.e., CP 575)
Additionally, you’ll have to submit the information of an authorized representative. This individual would be the person authorized to run and manage your Google Ads account. The files Google is accepting are the following:
-Permanent resident card or Green card
- If your account is set up with monthly invoicing, then it’s already verified for the credit-line process, meaning that you will probably not be required to submit additional documentation. Suppose Google sent you an email and/or a notification about the identity verification process. In that case, the chances are that you should approve the use of your legal name and country, which will be the ones on your payment records, and Google will display them in the disclosure (as we explained before).
All in all, the identity verification process is simple and straightforward, but you have to be careful. At some point, Google will pick your law firm’s advertising account and request that it undergo the process we explained. You’ll have 30 days to complete it; otherwise, you will not be able to serve your ads until you complete the verification process. Pay attention to the information and documents you submit. Google will double-check the details. If it doesn’t match, you can get your verification revoked and your account suspended.