As you may or may not know, on May 17th, 2011 Google AdWords recent policy changes have tightened restrictions on AdWords users with a few new policies to help ensure secure information sent over the internet. This was done in an effort to further protect financial information.

These new policies/requirements are:

1.) Disclosure information- Google has previously required you to disclose what you will do with personal information and how it is used, but now they require that this is more obvious before anything is submitted.

2.) Opt out ability- You must clearly have a way for users to opt out of emails, phone calls, and any other form of direct marketing.

3.) SSL for collection of payment- Many people use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) as an enhanced security to protect users financial information online, such as credit card numbers. AdWords will now require advertisers to have SSL added to their site.

The FTC has also made some recent updates to laws governing endorsements in advertising. The last time these laws were updated was in 1980. The FTC guides were updated to do what the FTC does best- protect consumers from misleading or false advertising.

One might wonder, are these changes because of  the Justice Department knocking on Google, Yahoo, and Bing’s door for knowingly accepting ads from illegal gambling sites in which they settled for about 31 million in 2007?

Is it because Google is walking on hot coals with the FTC?

Either way, Google will most likely be treading softly these days.

Ultimately, what do these changes mean for consumers, business owners, and advertisers?

Consumers: These new changes mean that you can have a little more faith in AdWord ads and at least know that the FTC and Google are making improvements to protect your financial information and reduce the risk of fraudulent advertising.

Business owners: When you are working with a company who will be handling your AdWords, you know that they are now required follow these new restrictions.

Advertisers: Make sure that you are compliant with these new regulations so that you won’t be banned from publishing ads.

For more details, check out the following resources: