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AdWords Policy Changes. Are You Going to be Affected?

Posted by in Pay Per Click (PPC)

Based on Google’s latest Adwords policy announcement, websites that require payment, such as personal or financial information for web users, they will be adding three new requirements.

1. Clear, accessible disclosure before visitors submit personal information
The existing policy requires your website to clearly describe how any personal information you solicit will be used. Soon, we’ll require that the description must also be easily accessible before visitors submit their details.

2. Option to discontinue direct communications
Along the same lines of how personal information will be used, you’ll also be required to describe how people can opt out of future emails, phone calls, or other direct communications.

The first two points are valid when you request any of the following information:

  • Full name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • Birth date
  • Mother’s maiden name
  • National identity, driver’s license, tax number or any other personal ID related number

3. SSL when collecting payment and certain financial and personal information
Many websites use what are known as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connections to encrypt sensitive information that is delivered between the user’s browser and the website’s servers. To ensure user safety, AdWords policy will require all advertisers to use SSL when collecting payments and certain financial and personal information (like bank account and tax file numbers).

The only downside or ambiguity to this is that Google doesn’t specify what type of SSL certificate is required which means that anyone can just get a very low level certification for a very low cost or in some cases for free.

Currently there are three different types of certificates available, here they are in terms of security level:
1. Extended Validation (EV) SSL Certificates
2. Organisation Validation (OV) SSL Certificates
3. Domain Validation (DV) SSL Certificates

To learn more about how to set up SSL on your website, visit Google’s forum for more details.

These changes and requirements will be effective as of May 17th 2011.

What are your thoughts on these changes? Have your websites adjusted to this?

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