Q2 2020 Paid Search Updates: Google, LinkedIn, & Microsoft Advertising

Published July 10, 2020

Google Announces Identity Verification Program for All Advertisers

In April of this year, Google announced the rollout of a new identity verification process that was originally created in 2018 and at the time was required only for political advertisers. The most recent announcement indicates this verification process will now be required for all advertisers on the Google Ads platform. Advertisers will have to complete all steps of the process for their ads to continue to be eligible to show in auctions.

According to Google, this program is aimed at providing greater transparency to users about the advertisers who are behind the ads they see, including their legal business name and the country in which they operate. Advertisers will have 30 days from the time they are contacted by Google to submit the documentation that is required to comply with the program.

These documents include:

  • If you are an organization: Official documentation that includes your legal name and address. For US advertisers, Acceptable documents include your W9 or an IRS document. An authorized representative for your organization will also be required to submit a US government-issued ID, or US residence permit.
  • If you are an individual, you will be required to submit a US government-issued ID

The timeline for the rollout of this program and when advertisers will be contacted to begin the verification process is still ambiguous. What we do know is that some advertisers will start to see in-account notifications as soon as this summer in addition to getting notifications via email. But given the number of advertisers in the U.S. alone, it will likely take years for it to fully roll out to every account.

The good news is that there is no action required on behalf of advertisers to kick this process off! Just keep an eye out in both the Google Ads account and the inbox of the email address linked to the Google Ads account for a notification from Google over the coming months.

More details on the announcement from Google, and Google’s FAQs about the process.


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Google Launches Free Shopping Listings

In an early release due to COVID-19, Google recently announced that the Shopping tab will now consist mostly of free shopping listings. Retailers have the opportunity to capture more traffic & revenue at no additional cost and shoppers get to discover more products at more stores. These listings are run through the Surfaces Across Google program and advertisers simply need to opt-in through the Google Merchant Center.

More details in our article Growing Free Site Traffic With Surfaces Across Google.

LinkedIn Advertising vs. Microsoft Advertising LinkedIn Targeting

There’s a difference! Since Microsoft owns LinkedIn, Microsoft Advertising (fka Bing Ads) has the unique opportunity to target users based on LinkedIn data. This sets Microsoft Advertising apart from Google Ads.

You can set bids for people searching on Bing based on industries, job functions, and even companies – data powered by LinkedIn. Don’t confuse this targeting with showing ads directly on LinkedIn, though. LinkedIn Advertising is a separate platform and involves showing ads directly on the site.

More details on LinkedIn Advertising vs. Microsoft Advertising LinkedIn Targeting.

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