Google have been bashed about in recent weeks by everyone; the Government, the financial regulator, trade bodies, lead generators and consumers. And rightly so. As the dominant online advertising platform in the world they have failed to do enough to prevent fraudulent advertising whilst at the same time, profiting from misleading advertising.
The response, however, has been impressive.
First came the ‘business operations verification process’ and then came the advertiser verification process’ and now it seems that Google are going to require healthcare advertisers in the US to specifically prove they have the relevant authority and capability, to provide the healthcare provision their adverts claim. It's a major step.
First reported in Search Engine Land on April 20th, Google is replicating the same model it has for advertisers of online pharmacies but this time for private healthcare and will insist that the advertisers are independently certified.
The liberal provision (and standards) of healthcare in the US is not Healthcare in Europe and there are many good reasons why Google would look to restrict the open access to this specific market, but it does raise the question what and where next?
For example, might Google UK require advertisers of investment products to provide an verified FCA number, before they allow adverts of this nature to run? It would be a major step in stopping scams.
The changes in US healthcare are not due to come into force until June 2nd and we’ll keep an eye on their implementation and effect in future posts.