Google is implementing a new “Limited Ads Serving” policy to improve ad transparency and safeguard users from misleading ads.
This policy targets unfamiliar or lesser-known advertisers whose ads may have a higher risk of being scams or misrepresenting themselves.
Under the new protocol, Google will limit how widely these types of ads are shown across its platforms to mitigate the potential for users to encounter deceptive advertising content.
A Get-to-Know-You Period
Under Google’s new policy, advertisers that Google has limited prior experience with will be subject to a probationary period.
During this time, advertisers may see restrictions on the number of ad impressions their campaigns can generate.
This policy will initially apply when advertisers run ad campaigns targeting specific brands, mainly when it’s unclear whether the advertiser has an authorized relationship with the targeted brand.
In Google’s words:
“This is an area where we especially want to ensure users have a clear understanding of who they are dealing with when they interact with an ad.”
Enhanced User Experience and Trust
Google believes this new policy will improve the user experience by ensuring ads come from authorized advertisers and advertisers with a proven track record of following guidelines and being transparent.
If a user searches for flights on their preferred airline, for example, this policy would result in most of the advertisements they see being from that airline, its competitor airlines, local hotels, and other advertisers with a history of complying with policies.
Advertisers need this compliance record to avoid limited impressions while establishing their track record.
Google stresses the goal of this policy:
“While we want to allow users the opportunity to interact with relevant and helpful ads, this policy will reduce the chance that they’ll see a misleading or confusing ad from an advertiser with an unproven track record.”
Advertisers significantly affected by this policy will be notified and provided with guidance to achieve qualified status.
Google also offers simple tips for advertisers to create clear ads, such as tying their domain to the ad title, especially if they are not a widely known brand.
Transparency & Evaluation Criteria
When reviewing an advertiser’s background, Google will look at elements like user comments on the ads, whether the advertiser has followed Google’s advertising rules in the past, and if the advertiser has gone through Google’s process to verify their identity.
Google reminds advertisers that people can provide feedback on any ad:
“Our users are able to provide feedback on every ad they are served on our platform, based on whether they had a positive or negative experience with that ad. We’ll take that feedback into account.”
Keeping The Doors Open For New Advertisers
Google affirms the new policy will not block or remove ads from their platform.
Rather, any constraints will only be applicable in particular situations, such as cases where a user could be misled by similarities between an advertiser’s brand name and another company.
The policy will be slowly rolled out, with modifications to ensure it serves its intended purpose.
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