Google will combine its advertiser identity and business operations verification programs under a unified Advertiser verification program.

Google Ads will merge its advertising identify and business operation verification programs into a unified advertising verification program in March, according to an email sent by Google Ads to some advertisers today. 

The Google Ads unified advertising verification process is similar to the current identity verification process – you’re required to submit your legal business or individual name, along with any other supporting documentation. This information will be displayed in an ad disclosure. 

The email (see in full, below) shared details on what will change. 

New section: About your business. Google said it will ask advertisers questions (e.g.,  the advertiser’s industry and billing country) related to their Google Ads and account, which will be shown in a new section, About your business. Why? So Google can understand whether you are a direct or indirect provider of the products or services being advertised. 

Verification timeline change. Advertisers must submit their About your business answers within 30 days. Failure to do so will result in your account being paused. On top of that, Google said there will be an additional 30 days to complete any requested verifications, which could be identify, business operations, or both.

Advertisers were previously given 30 days to start identity verification, and an additional 30 days to complete it. And advertisers were previously given 21 days to complete business verification, and were given a 7-day notice period before account suspension.

Six reasons why Google may pause your account. If:

  • You fail to answer the questions about your Google Ads account and business.
  • Fail to complete or meet the identity or business operations verification requirements. 
  • Google suspects your ads violates Google Ads policies. 
  • Google suspects your advertising may cause physial or monetary harm to users. 
  • Google suspects you are attempting to circumvent the verification process.
  • If your identity or advertising behavior has been identified as “unclear”.

Why we care. Google began its push for greater transparency in political advertising in 2018. These changes are all meant to let searchers clearly know who is behind the ads they’re seeing and potentially clicking on. Hopefully, this will make for a safer user experience (e.g., less fraudulent and scam ads) and improve the Google Ads ecosystem.