Google has decided to build in more transparency into the political advertising being run on its ad networks. Google’s policies surrounding political ads and campaigns were amended back in May – requiring ID of anyone trying to purchase political advertising – but Google has now starting making information regarding the system public.
The company announced its intentions on the subject three months ago, and as of last week has released its first political advertising transparency report, and political advertising library.
The Political Ad Transparency Report
Part of Google’s strategy is the transparency report which makes public the money spent on political advertising in the US, and organizes it by state, and by congressional district. The report also includes a ranking of the top advertisers based on their spending via Google ad campaigns.
The most popular keywords are also ranked by money spent, displaying which keywords have been utilized the most by political campaigners during the current US election cycle, dating back to may 31st. Google has confirmed that this information will update each week, and is all downloadable.
The Political Ad Library
The other half of Google’s political transparency measures, the ad library is an archive of searchable political advertisements that have appeared in Google’s ad networks. It also only dates back to May, as with the spending metrics in the Transparency Reports, but as time goes on, the tools provided for searching the archive will become more useful.
According to Google, users will be able to view full version of all the ads indexed in the archive, and be able to track who paid for it, how much they paid, its impact during it’s run, and how long it ran for.
Google’s Plans for the Future
Currently, this feature is restricted to the US, but Google has expressed its intention to try to expand the feature elsewhere. They also plan to research ways to apply similar transparency measures to advertising on political issues beyond advertisements that are explicitly tied to candidates for election.
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Sam Mannell has been a writer for the Pure SEO content team since August '18. He quickly found his place in the company as resident Dungeon Master and coffee expert. Sam holds a BA from University of Auckland, where he double-majored in Linguistics and English.
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