Google Third-Party Policy - Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

  1. What do I need to do to prepare for these policy changes?
  2. Why is Google making this change?
  3. When do these third-party reporting requirements go into effect?
  4. What type of information is Google requiring third parties to share?
  5. What are acceptable ways to share performance reports?
  6. How often do I need to share performance reports?
  7. How should I share the disclosure with my clients?
  8. What's a "clearly discoverable" location on my website?
  9. May I link to the copy of the disclosure hosted by Google?
  10. What should my link to the disclosure say?
  11. May I modify the disclosure?
  12. I'm an agency or search engine marketing tool developer, and I already provide detailed reporting to my clients. What action is required from me?
  13. How is this different from the Google Certification Program?
  14. How will Google monitor compliance with these policies?
  15. My customer only cares about leads, not where they come from. Why do I still need to make these changes?
  16. Won't this mean that third parties have to make lots of expensive changes to their reporting systems?
  17. What if the client doesn't want this type of report and is requesting data rolled up by channel?
  18. I'm an advertiser and I'm experiencing issues with a third party. Where can I file a complaint?
  19. Where can I find the Google Third-Party Policy?
  20. Can third parties mix more than one client in an account?
  21. Who will get audited, and when?
  22. Which Google terms of service include the reporting requirements detailed in Section 1 of the Google Third-Party Policy?
  23. What happens if you find a violation?

1. What do I need to do to prepare for these policy changes?

We believe that most agencies and search engine marketing tool developers already make this information available to their clients. If you already meet our reporting requirements, no action is required on your part. If you don’t provide reports right now, however, you should start providing them. Learn what information you're required to share.

You can download reports for your clients from the reporting sections in AdWords campaign management and My Client Center. You can also download the reports from AdWords Editor or AdWords API. Learn more about how to share performance reports with your clients.

We believe that it’s especially important for advertisers with small to medium advertising budgets -- who may not have the resources and expertise of large advertisers -- to know what they can expect when working with our third-party partners. If you’re a third-party partner and 80% or more of your customers spend less than $1,000 USD (or local currency equivalent) per month on AdWords, you’ll also be required to share a disclosure document with your customers. Learn more in the Third-party Requirements section of the AdWords Help Center.

2. Why is Google making this change?

We're always working to improve advertisers' ROI and experience with AdWords, and we want to make sure advertisers -- whether they work with AdWords directly or not -- understand how AdWords is performing for them. We believe accountability is a core feature of AdWords. Focusing on what's best for the advertiser is ultimately the best long-term course for third parties working with AdWords. Learn about how this affects agencies and search engine marketing tool developers.

3. When do these third-party reporting requirements go into effect?

We’ll include these requirements in our legal terms and agreements starting in February 2011.

4. What type of information is Google requiring third parties to share?

All third parties that provide any level of cost and performance reporting today should make AdWords cost and performance information easily accessible to their advertiser clients and available at the same level of detail as other reporting information. For example, if a third party provides their clients with daily cost and performance reporting at the keyword level, then they'll be required to report daily cost and performance for their clients' AdWords keywords.

For those third parties that don't provide any reporting today, they should, at a minimum, provide advertisers with monthly data on AdWords costs, clicks, and impressions at the account level. For example, let's say ABC Agency is managing AdWords campaigns for their client, Joe's Plumbing. In July, the AdWords account for Joe's Plumbing accrues 1,400 clicks on 12,000 impressions for an AdWords cost of $700 (the exact amount charged by AdWords). ABC Agency will be required to provide a report to Joe's Plumbing that shows AdWords cost and performance at the account level:

Joe's Plumbing -- AdWords report for July 2010
Clicks: 1,400
Impressions: 12,000
Cost: $700

We believe that it’s especially important for advertisers with small to medium advertising budgets -- who may not have the resources and expertise of large advertisers -- to know what they can expect when working with our third-party partners. If you’re a third-party partner and 80% or more of your customers spend less than $1,000 USD (or local currency equivalent) per month on AdWords, you’ll also be required to share a disclosure document with your customers. Learn how.

Third parties can present the monthly data through their user interface, emailed reports, printed reports, or using whatever method is convenient and accessible to the advertiser. We believe that most agencies and search engine marketing tool developers already make this information available to their clients. If you already meet our reporting requirements, no action will be required on your part.

5. What are acceptable ways to share performance reports?

If you have an online client area, we recommend that you share reports in that area. If you don’t, you can send the reports via mail or email.

6. How often do I need to share performance reports?

You need to share performance reports at least once a month.

7. How should I share the disclosure with my clients?

On your website, you should prominently display a link that takes your clients to this disclosure new window. The link should say "Working with Third-Parties" and should be placed in a clearly discoverable location on your website. In addition, during new sales or renewals, you must either let your clients know about the presence of the disclosure on your website, email them a soft copy, or mail them a printed copy.

8. What’s a “clearly discoverable” location on my website?

In general the disclosure should be present in a reasonably obvious location and not obscured in any way. Examples of acceptable locations include the footer of your homepage, the “advertiser” section of your site, the advertiser reporting dashboard, if you have one, and the products or services section of your site.

9. May I link to the copy of the disclosure hosted by Google?

Yes, that’s fine.

10. What should my link to the disclosure say?

Your link to the disclosure should say "Working with Third-Parties."

11. May I modify the disclosure?

No. The disclosure has to be consistent.

12. I'm an agency or search engine marketing tool developer, and I already provide detailed reporting to my clients. What action is required from me?

We believe that most agencies and search engine marketing tool developers already meet these cost and performance reporting requirements. If you already meet the requirements, no action will be required on your part.

13. How is this different from the Google Certification Program?

These requirements apply to all third parties. The Google Certification Program is a specific program that you can apply to. Learn more about the Google Certification Program.

14. How will Google monitor compliance with these policies?

We’ll audit for compliance based on advertiser complaints.

15. My customer only cares about leads, not where they come from. Why do I still need to make these changes?

The feedback that we've received from end advertisers is that they want to understand where their advertising money is spent and how that spend drives results. These changes are designed to address those requests. Many third parties already provide this reporting; our goal is simply to create a common quality experience for all end advertisers.

16. Won't this mean that third parties have to make lots of expensive changes to their reporting systems?

No. Almost all of our AdWords third parties already provide transparent performance data to their advertisers. For those who don't, we're providing this advance notice, but we don't expect this to be a significant change in terms of implementation. AdWords makes it easy to share reporting data through adwords.google.com or the AdWords API.

17. What if the client doesn't want this type of report and is requesting data rolled up by channel?

Third parties simply need to make monthly AdWords cost, impression, and click-reporting information available and accessible to their clients. Third parties aren’t required to force their clients to review these reports.

18. I’m an advertiser and I’m experiencing issues with a third party. Where can I file a complaint?

To file a complaint, just fill out this form.

19. Where can I find the Google Third-Party Policy?

You can find the policy here: Google Third-Party Policy. This policy is in addition to any existing terms and policies for third-party programs, including the Google AdWords Certification Program, AdWords API, the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program, the Google Adwords Terms and Conditions, and Google Engage for Agencies.

20. Can third parties mix more than one client in an account?

No, third parties cannot mix more than one client in an account. Account history is a core component of AdWords Quality Score, so mixing clients in one account can lead to quality scores that are not a fair representation of any one client's performance. Additionally, only one keyword from an account is allowed to trigger an ad per search query, so mixing clients in one account could limit ad serving for these clients.

21. Who will get audited, and when?

Any third party who sells Google AdWords may be audited at Google’s discretion. Audits may be based on complaints that are received by Google or may be initiated by Google. Google may initiate audits beginning on April 1st, 2011, to give third parties sufficient time to prepare.

22. Which Google terms of service include the reporting requirements detailed in Section 1 of the Google Third-Party Policy?

Programs with reporting requirements include AdWords API, Google Certification Program, and Google Engage for Agencies. However, all third parties are encouraged to follow these guidelines and to check any additional terms that they may have with Google through programs such as the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program.

23. What happens if you find a violation?

Please refer to the Google Third-Party Policy.