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GDPR and Google AdWords

Getting to grips with GDPR can feel like you’re wading through treacle. There is so much information out there, but few definitive answers as yet.

One thing we do know is that we have to be compliant by 25th May. GDPR applies to any area or discipline that uses or handles customer data, which can be anything from social media, right through to in-house CRM databases.

However, for this blog, we’re going to narrow things down and focus on GDPR and Google AdWords. Google is a global business, and, from their perspective, managing and adhering to new compliance regulations is a massive task. This means it is even more crucial your business is on top of Google’s stance on GDPR and that you’re fully compliant as well.

What is Google’s stance on AdWords?

Although Google has stated that AdWords is already GDPR-compliant, it is in the process of redefining contracts within its ad ecosystem.

This means all of its customers, which are largely made-up of agencies, advertisers or publishers. As part of its new contract, Google will establish whether a business is a controller or processor of personally identifiable data. The controller obtains the consent from the end user and decides how to process personal data, whereas the processor handles personal data on behalf of the controller.

As Google hopes it will have all new contracts in place by May, it is worth checking your account and ensuring you are up to speed with all notifications from Google. AdWords technologies that will likely be affected by GDPR:

The good news, however, is that AdWords can be modified to operate outside of the GDPR rules, therefore making it easier for business to advertise within the new guidelines. However, to achieve this will mean having to switch-off personalized targeting, so ads will only appear based on what’s been searched for. In summary, although AdWords is already ‘good to go’, it may no longer have the capability to mine data and drill down to the exact individual that you want to target.

Secure laptop with GDPR shield

Google’s new AdWords Ts & Cs

Google has been rolling-out new terms and conditions across the globe, which you should have seen by now, or will see soon. It’s easy to tick and accept Ts & Cs without reading them, we’ve all done it, but to be GDPR-ready it is worth printing, reading and getting professional advice, should you have any points to query. Google has updated its terms to include the following:

  • To have more flexibility to inform business via text, voice or email
  • Include new data protection terms related to GDPR and other EU privacy laws

As Google hasn’t yet created clear guidelines as to who’s responsible for customer data once GDPR has kicked in – and whilst we wait for clarification on its processor or controller status to establish accountability – the Ts & Cs are now even more important than ever.

How will Google capture customer data, post-GDPR?

There’s a new marketing buzzword in town, which is Moments Marketing. This is where individuals are targeted right at that, well, moment. A moment could be anything from an urgent search for a locksmith, right through to the moment of making a purchase. Google is looking to use Moments Marketing to obtain consumer consent, which the company also refers to as ‘ambient’ consent, which is individual opt-in at the point of buying or using a product. They are also trialling a small icon next to ads that explains why a consumer has been targeted with that particular ad and also gives them the chance to change preferences or settings. Once GDPR kicks in, there’s going to be a period of steep learning and adjustment. Pop-ups and banner ads can be frustrating if not used well, but GDPR requires such granular information, that it may lead to an increase in this form of display. The key point will be to do banner or pop-ups well and to great effect that will help drive traffic and click-throughs.

Google AdWords logo

Next steps for your business?

There is a lot to prepare and consider when getting GDPR compliant, so your business needs to make sure you are reading all notifications from Google to establish whether you control or process customer data.

This is also a good time to put a robust AdWords strategy in place to make sure you’re comfortable with how you’re marketing your business in a post-GDPR world.

Although GDPR can seem like a daunting prospect, it also brings about a lot of opportunities and a more considered approach to marketing and advertising.

If you’re looking for support to guide you through this process, we are a Google Partner and we specialise in developing ad campaigns for all Google products. We also work within all recommended guidelines and policies.

May 25th is going to happen, so make sure you’re GDPR ready and confident.

Task list

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