Google Introduces Ads Transparency Center

Google rolled out a new initiative Wednesday that allows consumers to learn more about the ads they see across the web and feel more comfortable clicking through the ads to do business with the company advertising.

The Ads Transparency Center -- a searchable hub of all ads served from verified advertisers working with Google -- will begin rolling out to users worldwide Wednesday to help consumers learn more about the ads they see across Search, YouTube and Display.

Mike Froggatt, senior director analyst at Gartner, believes that the data collected by users going to the site will provide additional information on trends, and teach and inform Google’s data learning algorithms.  

“Even if a small percentage of users browse through the adCenter and confirm top selections, it will make a difference,” Froggatt said.

When asked whether advertisers can benefit from this data, Froggatt said yes -- adding that advertisers should keep an eye on the data to learn what consumers, in aggregate, want and do not want to see.

Froggatt also pointed to the way Google is highlighting verified businesses, which is a move to ensure advertisers are tied to real personas.

“It’s another step in transparency to ensure the system serves ads from real companies,” Froggatt said.   

Google’s latest initiative builds on a long history of working to provide consumers with more information about advertisers.

In 2018, Google set a policy requiring all advertisers that want to run election ads on its platforms to go through a verification process and include an in-ad disclosure that clearly shows who paid for the ad.

In 2020, Google introduced a global advertising indemnity verification program that requires advertisers to verify information about their businesses, where they operate from and what they are selling or promoting.

In fall 2022, Google introduced My Ad Center, a way to help people using Google’s products to control the ads they see on Search, YouTube, and Discover from the ads.

People using the Ads Transparency Center can access the site directly or by visiting My Ad Center through the three-dot menu next to the ads they see. It also provides more information about the ads an advertiser has run, which ads were shown in a certain region, and the last date an ad ran and the format of the ad.

The site will include information such as whether the advertiser is a verified business, and will allow users to like, block or report an ad if the person feels it violates one of Google’s policies.

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