Every business should seek ways to advertise their offering through the most relevant and pertinent channels. 

For most Google will be close to, if not at, the top of their advertising plans. Google is the world’s biggest search engine. If you want your business to be seen, putting your efforts into Google advertising is a wise choice.  

As a global ad platform Google is constantly refreshing and changing their processes to ensure the experiences of advertisers and ad-viewers are meeting key milestones and regulations. 

One such update is in the offing in March 2022, with Google making some updates to its Advertiser Verification Program. In the latest Williams Commerce blog, we take a look at what’s going on. 

How will these updates work? 

Google is to consolidate its current Advertiser Identity Verification and Business Operations Verification programs under a unified Advertiser Verification Program. This is to enhance yet simplify the verification experience for advertisers. 

Advertisers will receive an email and in-account notification once it is their turn to enter the Advertiser Verification Program. 

Once selected, advertisers will be asked to commence their verification process within 30 days. Once this has been started, advertisers have another 30 days to complete the various requirements linked to verification. 

Google has warned that this may comprise a number of steps, including verifying their identity, their business operations or both. 

What is Google changing? 

The first step will see Google ask advertisers questions related to their Google Ads account, and about their business. This will come under a new ‘About your Business’ section within the account.  

Advertisers will have 30 days to answer the questions, which will cover topics such as the advertiser’s industry, billing country, and whether they are a direct or indirect provider of the products or services they advertise on Google. 

Another change is updates to the verification timeline. The verification requirements will be determined by the answers in the About your Business section, but can include verifying your identity, your business operations or both. 

What can lead to an account being paused? 

There are few things that can lead to your Google Advertiser account being paused that are linked to these updates. They generally boil down to you not providing the desired information quickly enough.  

The first is not submitting answers for the About your Business section within 30 days. The same will apply if any additional verification information that has been requested is not submitted within 30 days.  

One of the biggest changes of the updates generally is that the Advertiser Verification and Business Verification will be aligned. This means that if they are requested, failure to complete or meet the Business Operations Verification requirements will lead to an account pause. Previously, this would have caused an account suspension. 

Google has also warned that your account could be paused when the Advertiser Verification Program is initiated. This could be for a number of possible reasons, including violations of Google Ads policies. According to Google, this might come about because of misleading representation, unreliable claims, unidentified business, business name requirements, solicitation of funds, sensitive events, and coordinated deceptive practices. 

Another reason for an account pause is Google suspecting your business practices ‘may cause physical or monetary harm to users’. This can include misrepresentation in ad content, or the offering of financial products or services under false pretences. 

Google may also pause your account if it suspects you are trying to circumvent its verification process, or if you are unable to make your identity or advertising clear.  

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What should I do if my account is paused? 

Getting your ads running again is reliant on you completing the verification process. This requires you to get all the request information and documentation over to Google to review. The sooner you do this, the sooner you can get your ads back up and in front of the people you want to be seeing them. 

Can I monitor the status of my verification? 

The latest updates include some user experience enhancements. As part of this, advertisers can initiate and monitor their verification status. That means that if you are not getting verified, it is now easier to see the reasons as to why this is.  

This information will be available to view in an interface contained within the Billing and Payments settings tab within your Google Ads account.  

Will the changes impact Google’s other verification programs? 

No. The changes will not have an impact on the scope or requirements of Google’s other verification programs.  

When will the changes roll out? 

The changes will be implemented from 31st March 2022. The changes will then be gradually ramped up over the following months. 

Anything else to consider? 

When you advertise on Google, it is important to take the time to familiarise yourself with the policies and procedures that are in place. It might not be glamourous or exciting, but anything that keeps your name appearing on the world’s biggest search platform is going to benefit your business. 

The Williams Commerce team has vast experience working to support the SEO and PPC advertising aims of businesses. We also understand the ins and outs of Google Advertising, so if you need support or have any questions, you know where we are