Google to cut down on advertising for teens

Google to cut down on advertising for teens

Google has confirmed that it will be introducing new protections to restrict the amount of personalised and sensitive advertising content seen by users who are under 18.

The Ad-serving Protections for Teens policy applies to Google account holders over the age of 13 (which Google calls the “digital age of consent”) but younger than 18. People younger than this are not permitted to set up a Google account, while older users can be classed as adults.

In changes that will be enforced on August 15th, Google will disable ad personalising towards this group, meaning advertisers will not be able to include them in any targeted advertising based on their profile or browsing habits. The policy applies to advertising on YouTube, as well as Google Display Ads and Display & Video 360.

As well as this, ad categories classed as “sensitive” will be restricted among users aged 13 to 18. These include sexually suggestive content, alcohol, tobacco, gambling and body modification. A full list of the categories is available on Google’s Help page about the policy.

Having been accused of misusing children’s data in the past, recent years have seen Google increase its efforts to protect young people online. Indeed, these changes were hinted towards almost a year ago, and a web-based version of YouTube Kids was released in 2019.

The search giant has not provided a lot of information for advertisers on this, aside from that they do not need to take any action. It may be worth keeping an eye on the performance and reach of your ads before and after August 15, especially if you offer a product or service that tends to be popular with young people.

If you’re looking for help with search engine optimisation (SEO) and online advertising, and how to stay on the right side of Google’s policies, speak to us at Engage Web.

Content Team Leader at Engage Web
John works for Engage Web as a Content Team Leader and regularly contributes to the website and programmes of his beloved Chester F.C.
John Murray

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