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Google rolls out new advertiser policy to safeguard users

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Google updates its AdWords policy

Google has introduced important changes to its Google AdWords policy.

The changes have come about as a result of Google wanting to better protect users’ financial, as well as personal, information. Full details of the policy changes were announced on 4 May 2011 via the Google AdWords blog but advertisers were given a grace period allowing them to make changes in order to meet the new requirements.

Google AdWords is a service that allows advertisers to run pay per click (PPC) campaigns on their sites. Advertisers have always had to adhere to the principles of best site build, but Google wants to ensure that everyone using the service is playing by the rules and securely protecting users.

Protection is paramount

The changes have come at a time when Google’s use of users’ personal information has experienced plenty of negative press. Google believes that AdWords should be a “safe, fair and trusted marketplace” for advertisers and users alike, and this is why the new policies seek to guarantee that users experience “transparency, safety and security”.

Any advertisers whose sites request “payment, financial, or personal information”, again outlined on Google’s blog, must adhere to the new policies, else their ads may risk suspension.

The new policies are laid out in three simple steps. Advertisers’ sites must have:

  • Clear, accessible disclosure before visitors submit personal information – Users must be aware of how and why their details will be used
  • Option to discontinue direct communications
  • SSL when collecting payment and certain financial and personal information – Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a function that encrypts sensitive information sent to website servers. This protects users’ information. Google AdWords now requires that all its advertiser sites use this function for the exchange of funds and financial information.

Users can now feel secure that any site they access through PPC adverts from Google AdWords is a genuine, secure website. This should give them reassurance that their details will remain safe even if they exchange financial details with the site.

Written by Nicola Hughes

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