Google announced this week that they will be banning all election-relating ads on their various advertising platforms after November 3rd. This includes Google Ads, DV360, and YouTube.
Affiliates promoting election-related campaigns and utilizing one of Google’s ad platforms as their traffic source should take note.
The company stated that their reasoning for the future ban is the unprecedented number of votes that are going to be tallied after Election Day.
In the past, voters typically know the night of the election which candidate won. However, the ongoing pandemic means many Americans will be voting by mail. Ballots will therefore take longer to be tallied and thus the result of the election could take up to a week to be determined.
You might be asking yourself “If the election could take up to a week, then why can’t election-related ads be run during that time period?”
For Google, the answer is simple: They don’t want to be responsible for the spread of disinformation during an uncertain time. Especially one of such importance.
They fear that some advertisers could potentially claim victory for either candidate in their ads to improve performance before an official result.
An ad ad with truthful intention could quickly turn into one that’s confusing and exposes users to false details.
How exactly will Google determine which ads make the cut and which get banned? According to them, any ads that are “explicitly election-related”.
Essentially, if an ad mentions a current state, federal officeholder, candidate, political party, ballot measure and/or targets election-related search queries, it won’t exist past November 3rd.
You can find out more information on what Google considers political content here.
There’s no word as of yet when Google will lift the ban. It’s likely that will be determined once the dust has settled and a winner is officially declared.