In the wake of the recent elections in the U.K. and upcoming US elections in 2020, Google announced that they are making some updates to their political ads policy. The changes reflect Google’s intent to provide the most relevant information, specifically pertaining to elections and candidates. Let’s take a dive into how some of these policy updates will affect the paid ads that we see this election season.
First off, we should mention that these updates are in no way designed to favor any one political party but rather are intended to eliminate what Google calls “deep fakes,” misleading claims about the census, or ads and website destinations that clearly provide false information, potentially causing distrust in the voting process. Essentially, Google wants to ensure they are not providing false and misleading content on their platform which is what they strive to do in their search algorithm.
Political advertisers are still able to utilize the different ad formats: Search, Display, and YouTube. The updates, however, will eliminate targeting based on public voter records and political affiliations. Instead, they will allow targeting by age, gender, and postal code locations. Advertisers will also be able to target contextually which will allow them to target specific issues. Google’s goal here is to better align with other sources of traditional media like TV, radio, and print. They also want ads to target more of the masses so it can generate public dialogue.
Finally, Google wants to be more transparent in the way they provide political ad information. They are going to provide “transparency reports” that will provide the public with information such as who paid for the ad, the content of the ad, how many people saw the ad and so forth. They are also going to include state-level election data in these reports and include all ads in their search results network.
If you or someone you know would like to discuss your political digital ad strategy, please feel free to contact us or call us at 713-309-6380.