Google Ads Transparency Center Offers Searchable Ad Data

Google is launching an Ads Transparency Center. The “searchable hub” rolls out to global users in the coming weeks and lets anyone look up who’s behind an ad, which ads an advertiser ran and where across Google Search, YouTube and the Google Display Network. Additional details are provided for political ads, including the amount spent, number of impressions and any location targeting criteria. In 2020 Google began requiring that advertisers verify their identities, and a year later began letting users access some ad info, but its transparency move follows Facebook’s similar offering, which launched in 2019.

Google says more than 30 million people interact with its ads transparency tools each day, leading it to invest over the past five years in ways to improve the quality and convenience of accessing such information as well as a degree of control over which ads users see.

With the Ads Transparency Center, a user presented with an ad for a product that intrigues them from a company they don’t recognize “can look up the advertiser and learn more about them before purchasing or visiting their site,” Google director of product management and ads safety Alejandro Borgia wrote in a blog post.

By visiting the Ads Transparency Center directly or accessing it through the three-dot menu adjacent to each ad “you’ll find a menu that includes information on whether or not the advertiser is a verified business and you can also like an ad, block an ad or report a bad ad if you feel it violates one of our policies.”

“The search giant also launched an Ads Safety Report highlighting its effort toward thwarting malicious ads,” reports TechCrunch, noting the Alphabet subsidiary “blocked or removed 5.2 billion ads, restricted over 4.3 billion ads and suspended 6.7 million advertiser accounts” in 2022.

Last year, Google also expanded to 11 countries a financial service certification program aimed at preventing fraud.

“Google mentioned that in the last year it updated or introduced 29 ad-related policies to protect consumers” at a time when “the company’s ad business, which is its biggest revenue driver, is facing scrutiny in the U.S.” by the Department of Justice and eight states, including New York and California,” TechCrunch writes.

“Transparency breeds trust with people and with our partners and helps keep us accountable for the work we do,” Google VP global ad sales Dan Taylor said in a press briefing reported by Bloomberg.

Search Engine Journal points out that “advertisers can use the Ads Transparency Center as a research tool to analyze competitors’ designs and ad copy to create Google Ads campaigns,” noting Meta’s Ad Library has similar functionality.

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