Google blocks political ads after election day in US

The world of paid search can often be a tricky one to traverse particularly when the largest platform in the industry has the ability to move the goalposts almost at will. Whilst staying informed of the latest developments in Google Ads will help you mitigate some of the rough waters, sometimes it can be difficult to predict the next move that Google will make.      With mounting concerns over misinformation and fake news, Google is planning to ban political ads after the completion of the US election. The move has been touted by the company as a way of reducing the chances of companies influencing elections through paid ads to voters.   

What will Google prevent showing in ads? 

Google has circulated an email that stipulates that advertisers will not be able to operate ads that reference the candidates, the US election or its outcome. The move has been put forward by Google in part due to the large number of votes expected to be counted after the day of the election. The rise in postal votes and the potential for influence and tampering is another of the main concerns and reasons for the change in policy. Google intends to ban the mention of state or federal officeholders, candidates, and political parties. Ads related to election-related search queries will also not pass the new criteria laid out by Google.  The ‘sensitive events’ policy by Google has been altered to contain the new rules which have also been used to restrict the running of some COVID-19 related ads.   

Other giants in Silicon Valley have followed Google’s lead 

Google is not the only big tech company looking to restrict ads that could influence the election. Both Facebook and Twitter have introduced new measures to prevent the spread of misinformation and restrict the running of political ads. The Trump campaign reportedly spent in the tens of millions of dollars on Facebook Ads with many ad variations and interest-targeted advertising.  The move has come as the social and search industries have been placed under increasing scrutiny for the impact they can have on the public consciousness and the potential impact on national elections. Whilst the move by Google is a strong one, other platforms that run digital ads are still showing signs that they may continue to allow political ads despite the strong rhetoric.   

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