Google Ads Require Identification
Google announced they will begin requiring documentation of user identity and geographic location for advertisers. From my perspective this is great news for advertisers as this will stop a lot of bogus companies promoting products locally when they are in fact overseas.
The verification program will include:
- Personal identification methods
- Business incorporation documents
- Possibly other items to verify who they are
- Operating geography
The program will start in the U.S. and roll out globally, and will apply to Search, Display, and YouTube. Google noted they believe it will take a few years to complete verification for the entire ad ecosystem.
User interface change
Tied to this change, users will start to see disclosures on ads about the identity of the advertiser.
It will appear below the “Why this Ad?” option.
The information will include Advertiser name, country location, and a toggle option to stop receiving ads from them.
Google Announces Free Google Shopping listings
Google have announced plans to rollout free listings into Google Shopping. This is a significant update – presenting a huge opportunity to list products on the platform for free.
Free Google Shopping listings will initially go live in the US at the end of April, with a global release later this year.
The free listings will be displayed much like the organic search results that we are so used to. Paid shopping ads will be listed in the upper most positions and above the free natural shopping listings below. These will show within the Shopping tab on Google.
Existing paid ads will be augmented automatically, enabling them to benefit from the new free listings in addition to these paid ads already running.
This news presents retail businesses a huge opportunity to get ahead of the game.
Retailers will be able to list all their items and drive added visibility to their stores. Of course, given the challenges we face today, these organic shopping listings will hopefully benefit many smaller companies and make their products more visible as an increasing number of people browse online.
New Partnership With PayPal
Along with this monumental change to Google Shopping, a new partnership with PayPal is being launched.
Merchants can link their PayPal accounts to Google Shopping, which is said to speed up the onboarding process.
PayPal now joins Google’s existing partners, including Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce
Woocommerce Payments now released
Automattic-owned eCommerce platform WooCommerce launched its new WooCommerce Payments feature on May 19. The company seeks to make it easier for plugin users to manage the entirety of their shop from a single location. WooCommerce Payments is only available to U.S.-based shops. However, the team expects to begin rolling out support for more countries and local payment methods in 2020.
WooCommerce Payments creates an integrated payments dashboard in the WordPress admin. It allows shop owners to manage charges, deposits, refunds, and disputes without leaving their store. By not having to toggle between the store and third-party payment processors, administrators should be able to enjoy a more seamless experience.
WooCommerce Payments is available as a free download via the WordPress plugin directory. Any costs associated with the plugin are on a per-transaction basis. Fees start at 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction for cards issued in the U.S. An additional 1% fee is tacked on for cards outside the U.S.
Under the hood, payments are handled through Stripe Express. The WooCommerce team developed the front-end so that it would match the look and feel of WooCommerce, making it function like a native part of the plugin. Stripe handles the processing from the backend.
Google My Business Reviews are appearing
In mid-March Google temporarily disabled publication of new reviews, business owner review replies and new Q&A posts. There were other delays in posting new listings or hours and address updates as well.
There’s been anecdotal feedback that publication velocity of the sequestered reviews has increased. Search Engine Land reached out to Google to confirm and were told by a spokesperson, “We’re now publishing user reviews and photos in all countries and the vast majority of business categories to help people get helpful up to date information about the places around them. We expect to publish a growing number of user contributions as time progresses.”
This is great news for local businesses.