Around March of 2020, Google began letting businesses that advertise on the Google Ads platform know that they will be required to complete an “identity verification” in order to continue using Google Ads. Typically, Google will send an email to the account holder alerting them that they must “start identity verification to continue serving ads”, or something to that effect. This is not optional. Let me repeat that – this is not optional! You will have 30 days from the date you receive that first email to begin the verification process. If you do not, Google will quite simply stop serving your ads, and your account will be paused.
Once the verification process has started, you will then have 30 days from that date to finish. Again, there is no wiggle room here. We have found that Google has been strictly enforcing these dates, and we have seen more than one advertiser account get paused because they either did not start or did not complete the verification process to Google’s specification in the required amount of time.
Why Is Google Doing This?
We get asked this a lot. Basically, it all started in 2018 when there was a flood of fake or misleading ads being created for and against political campaigns. These were usually paid for by “bad actors” looking to spread misinformation or disrupt/influence election outcomes. Google began forcing anyone advertising for anything political to go through a verification process to ensure the ads were legit. While I’m sure it hasn’t solved the problem entirely, it must have had enough of an impact that they then rolled out a similar program for all advertisers.
The main idea is that Google wants consumers to feel confident that the advertisements they see are from legitimate business who are trustworthy. Once a business completes the verification process, users will see disclosures that list information about the advertiser behind the ads they see.
Okay, So How Do I Verify My Identity with Google?
Once you receive the email stating you need to begin the verification process, there is a somewhat lengthy form that needs to be filled out and supporting documents that need to be uploaded. After that, Google will review your application and may reach out for more information or to get clarification.
You will be required to submit at least one item from the list of acceptable documents that Google will use during the verification. While they typically only require one of these documents, we have seen applications where they ask for more.
We’ve seen the review process take as little as 24 hours or as long as several weeks. There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason for how long an application review takes. It’s typical that most applications, when filled out “correctly”, get approved in about a week. But again, there are no guarantees here and Google makes no promises. And you cannot rush them.
Can I Do This Myself?
The short answer is probably. We’ve had several clients for whom we manage their Google Ads attempt the verification process themselves with varying degrees of success. Some were able to take care of it, while others needed assistance. We have also seen several accounts get paused and all ads stopped because the process was not completed correctly or on time.
That being said, to date, Electric Bricks has a 100% success ratio for the accounts where we have managed the verification process. The time involved in completing the Google Ads advertiser verification can vary. We’ve done most in just a couple of hours, whereas others can take longer, but we have always been able to get our clients verified. And those clients didn’t have to deal with the frustration of the application process by themselves. They just answered our plain-English requests and we took care of it.
If you’re looking for assistance with completing your Google Ads advertiser identity verification, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Give us a call at 631-909-1004 and we’ll do what we can to save you time and frustration. We can’t promise it won’t be annoying or feel like a waste of time, but we will try to make it as smooth as possible so you can get back to running your business quickly.