Google recently announced that they are introducing the option for advertisers to opt out of the Search Partner Network (SPN). This decision was made in response to a report from Adalytics which claimed that Google search ads were appearing on inappropriate non-Google websites through the SPN, potentially posing risks to brand safety. The flagged websites mentioned in the report contained pornographic, sanctioned, and pirated content.
Despite Google refuting the claims, they have acknowledged the need for improvements and customer satisfaction, leading to the introduction of the ability for advertisers to exclude the SPN from all campaign types. This move is important because ads appearing alongside inappropriate content can damage a brand’s reputation and may lead to an inefficient use of advertising budget, time, and resources as the audience consuming such content is unlikely to align with the intended target demographic.
Advertisers now have the option to exclude all campaign types, including Performance Max and app campaigns, from the SPN. Media buyers reportedly have until 1 March 2023 to opt out of PMax campaigns.
The Adalytics report also highlighted that an unnamed Fortune 500 company was surprised to learn that its ads were being served on “many” non-Google websites, including Breitbart.com, which the company had specifically added to its account-level domain exclusion list several years beforehand. This raised concerns about the possibility of ads being served on websites and publishers despite the brand’s deliberate efforts to achieve brand safety and control over their media investments.
Google has denied the claims in the report, describing them as “wildly exaggerated”. A Google spokesperson stated that their priority is their partners and that they listen closely to their feedback, which is why they are temporarily offering a new option to opt out. While Google takes issue with Adalytics’ methodology and conclusions, they always look to improve their products to meet their partners’ needs.
In conclusion, Google’s decision to introduce the ability for advertisers to exclude the SPN from their campaigns is a response to concerns raised in the Adalytics report. This move aims to address potential risks to brand safety and improve customer satisfaction. However, it remains to be seen how advertisers will respond to this new option and whether it will effectively address the concerns raised in the Adalytics report. Further commentary from Google is expected on this issue.
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