Advanced Verification policies

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Google’s Advanced Verification policies help to reduce fraud and to ensure that local business ads are relevant, useful and lead to a positive experience. Google Ads and Local Services advertisers who promote services in certain verticals will be required to complete Advanced Verification. 

This article outlines Google’s Advanced Verification policies. Some of these policies apply both to Google Ads and Local Services, there are some that apply to Google Ads advertisers only, and others to Local Services advertisers only

Where Advanced Verification is required

Google Ads and Local Services:

  • Garage door services: United States
  • Locksmith services: United States, Canada

Policies that apply to Google Ads and Local Services advertisers

Note: Advertisers promoting businesses in the categories and countries listed above are required to observe the following guidelines:

  • Local and federal laws and regulations: You must comply with all applicable laws and regulations relevant to the services that you provide. You also must comply with all relevant licensing or other regulatory requirements, and you are solely responsible for all compensation, licensing, regulatory fees or dues, insurance or any other related costs and legal duties required of you as a service provider.
  • Age restrictions: You and each of your customers must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Employment: You can't say or imply to anyone that you're an employee of Google or its affiliates, or that you otherwise work for Google or its affiliates. At all times you must ensure that each member of your team is properly classified and paid according to the applicable employment laws of your jurisdiction.
  • Google Terms of Service: Learn more
  • Advanced Verification terms of service: Learn more

Advertisers promoting businesses in the categories and countries listed above must satisfy Google’s Advanced Verification requirements set forth below.

What’s included in the Advanced Verification process

The Advanced Verification process combines a review of your Google Ads account (if applicable), publicly available data such as state registrations and professional licences, and video interviews conducted by Google. For the business owner, the check includes inquiries into professional licence validity (where applicable). At the company level, the check includes inquiries into business registration validity, evidence of fraudulent or misleading business practices and professional licence validity (where applicable).

Verification criteria 

Verification decisions are based on the following:

  1. Full, complete and accurate answers to all verification related questions.
  2. Honest and up-to-date disclosures about government documents, such as professional licences.  
  3. Compliance with all Google Ads and Advanced Verification policies.
  4. Confirmation of the licensing status of your business, where applicable.
  5. No evidence that your business is engaged in practices that are fraudulent, deceptive, misleading or otherwise harmful to consumers.

Your business also may be disqualified for any other reason consistent with the verification criteria listed above.

Cooperating with the Advanced Verification process

The Advanced Verification process is conducted by Google. When contacted by Google, you and any representatives of your business must provide honest, complete and accurate information. You also must agree to participate in a video interview and to have that video recorded.

Re-verification

After your business has been verified, you may be asked to comply with re-verification procedures once every 12 months. You may also be asked to re-verify your business if there are significant changes, such as moving locations or changing websites.

Audits

Google may conduct audits to ensure compliance with the Advanced Verification procedures. To remain in good standing, make sure that you fully cooperate with all audits.

Requesting appeals

You can always contact Google to identify any errors, inaccuracies or otherwise respond to the results of your business’s verification. If your application is denied, you’ll receive an email notification at the email address in your application and have the opportunity to submit an appeal. You may only submit an appeal once, so it's recommended that you thoroughly review these policies before doing so.

Privacy

When handling all verification-related information, Google is subject to its Privacy Policy.

Required disclosures

The information that you provide to Google and its users must be accurate, complete and not misleading. Requirements vary by business model, and include the following:

Accuracy of pricing information:

 Green checkAny prices that are presented to customers must be inclusive of all applicable fees, delivery charges, surcharges and taxes. For services that vary in price, a range of typical prices must be displayed. This range should represent both the minimum and maximum total costs that customers can expect to pay.

Transparency and availability of promoted offers:

 Green checkAny coupons, discounts or flat-rate offers promoted in your ads or website must have a corresponding description of what the offer includes and excludes. For example, a claim like 'New garage doors installed for £499' would need to be accompanied by details on what type of garage door is included and any limitations on the offer.

 Green checkOffers, services or products promoted in your ads or website should be currently available.

Accuracy of business identity:

 Green checkThe identity that you present to customers must be the true and accurate legal name of your business, or a registered fictitious business name.

 Green checkYour business identity must be clearly displayed in places where customers can reasonably expect to see it. For example, your business name should be visible from outside your shop front, if you have one.

 Green checkGoogle may request documentation to verify your business identity, such as a DBA registration certificate.

Complying with requests related to the verification of your business:

 Green checkOccasionally, Google may have additional questions about your business or documents. Please make sure that you respond promptly and accurately to these questions.

 Green checkGoogle may request documentation to verify your business’s address and other details.

Prohibited practices

You must provide accurate information about the services that you offer. You may not conceal or misstate information about your business or the services that you provide in any way. Additionally, your business may not engage in any untrustworthy, misleading or deceptive behaviour. The following practices are prohibited:

Misrepresentation:

Enticing users to part with money or information under false or unclear pretenses.

Presenting a false or intentionally vague identity, business name or contact information.

Making false claims related to accreditation, organisational membership, insurance or licensing status.

Unrealistic response times:

Claims of rapid response times that are unlikely to always be true and can't be guaranteed must not be included in text ads or on landing pages.

Pricing information in text ads:

Service call fees and minimum or starting prices must not be included in any text ads.

Discounts and coupons must not be included in text ads that promote emergency or repair services.

Warranties and guarantees:

If your ads or website mention any warranty or guarantee related to your services, the same page must contain a link to the relevant terms, conditions, exclusions and instructions to file a claim.

Influencing customer reviews:

You must not alter, interfere with or otherwise tamper with customer reviews of your services or the services of your competitors.

Unauthorised use of Google branding and trademarks:

You can’t use the Google logo or other brand elements without permission. If you wish to use any of Google’s brand features on your website or other public materials, read Google's brand usage guidelines.

What happens if you violate our policies

If you violate our policies, you may be subject to temporary or permanent revocation of your business’s verification status which will result in a partial or complete inability to advertise on Google. 

Google will notify you by email if this happens. If the violation is fixable, the email will explain the changes that you'll need to make before you can resume advertising.
 

Policies that apply to Google Ads advertisers only

Obligation to provide updated information

After your company has been verified, you must promptly notify Google of any changed circumstances that could affect the outcome of the previous verification. (For example, one of your government-issued licences expires, is suspended or otherwise ceases to be current and active.)

To report changed circumstances, please contact Google at advancedverification@google.com and include your Google Ads Customer ID and business name.

Aggregators or lead generation networks

Prominent and accurate pricing information:

  • Aggregators or lead generation networks must clearly disclose the typical price range for all advertised services on their website. This information must be easily visible and clearly explained in the top 20% (above the fold) of the homepage and any landing pages on the desktop and mobile versions of the website. This disclosure must not be provided as a closable notification and the font must be equal to or bigger than the majority of the text on the page.

Business contact information:

  • The legal address of the business must be displayed on the website, either in the footer of each page or on a 'contact us', 'about us' or equivalent page.

Complying with requests related to verification of your business:

  • Upon request, you must provide Google with up-to-date proof of licensure, insurance, bonding and any other related requirements.

For more information about Advanced Verification, please contact Google at advancedverification@google.com. Learn more about Google Ads policies

Policies that apply to Local Services advertisers only

Customer relationships

When you provide services, your customers aren't Google’s customers. You can’t claim to work for Google, and you can’t involve Google in any service issues between you and your customers. If a dispute arises, the customer may use Google to find an alternative service provider, but Google won’t help resolve any issues between you and your customer.

Google won’t recommend prices or fees for services and won’t negotiate prices with your customers.

You are solely responsible for training, instructing, monitoring, evaluating and disciplining your workers who interact with customers. Serious or repeatedly negative customer feedback – or repeatedly failing to promptly respond to customer requests – may result in lower rankings (including your listing not showing at all). Egregious or repeatedly inappropriate conduct towards customers – such as fraud, criminal activity, excessive property damage or related misconduct – may be grounds for immediate suspension or termination.

You are solely responsible for deciding which customers to accept or reject. Google will show your listings on our platform, and the rest is up to you.

Bear in mind

Google doesn't dictate how you choose your customers, so you can’t suggest to customers that Google told you which requests to accept or reject. Be careful not to imply that Google influences the pricing of your services or how those services are performed.

Obligation to provide updated information

After your company has been verified, you must promptly notify Google of any changed circumstances that could affect the outcome of the previous verification. (For example, one of your government-issued licences expires, is suspended or otherwise ceases to be current and active.)

To report changed circumstances, please contact Google at verificationupdate@google.com and include your Customer ID and business name.

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