document.write(''); How can marketers use the Google Ads Transparency Center as a competitive intelligence tool? - Simo Baha

How can marketers use the Google Ads Transparency Center as a competitive intelligence tool?

Transparency and user control have become crucial aspects in the ever-changing field of digital advertising. In 2023, Google is taking significant steps to empower users to manage the ads they encounter while offering valuable insights into the organizations responsible for serving those ads.

With the latest announcement, the Google Ads Transparency Center can offer many benefits to both users and marketers. Want to learn more? Let’s see what our experts think.

What is the Google Ads Transparency Center?

It Google Ads Transparency Center provides greater access to information about advertisements displayed on its platforms. The latter feature aims to increase trust and accountability by allowing users to view details of ads, including those related to political campaigns or important social issues.

The Google Ads Transparency Center also allows users to search for ads based on various criteria, such as advertiser names, keywords, or specific political issues. It provides information about the number of ads served by a particular advertiser, the amount spent, and the geographic locations where the ads are targeted.

Google Ads transparency schedule.

  • 2018 – Google is starting to require advertisers who want to run campaign ads on its platforms to go through a verification process and include an ad disclosure that clearly shows who paid for the ad.
  • 2020 – Google introduces a global advertiser identity verification program that requires advertisers to verify information about their business, where they operate, and what they sell or advertise.
  • 2022 – Google is launching My Ads Center worldwide, the most user-centric way to help you control the ads you see.
  • in 2023 – Google announces Advertising Transparency Center to help users quickly and easily learn more about the ads they see on search, YouTube and Display.

What is the difference between My Ad Center and Ad Transparency Center?

While the Ad Transparency Center serves as a searchable hub for all ads served by verified advertisers, the My Ads Center provides users with tools to personalize their ad experiences.

How can marketers use the Ad Transparency Center as a competitive intelligence tool?

Compared to other competitive analysis tools, the Advertising Transparency Center stands out due to its direct integration with the Google advertising network; including Search, YouTube and Display.

“It comes directly from the source, not from a third-party web scraping tool. However, there are some key features that third-party tools have that are missing here.” Josh O’Donnell, Sr. Tinuiti Paid Search Specialist said:

“For example, once you’ve narrowed down to an advertiser or website, there are no options to filter by date range, geographic location, and ad format (text, image, video). You will not be able to search by specific sections of ad text in a competitor’s ad. You will also not receive any ad performance data (rated or otherwise) such as ad impressions etc.”

Portrait of Josh O'Donnell

What are the benefits for users and advertisers?

Despite its limitations, the Ad Transparency Center offers 2 significant benefits to both users and advertisers:

  1. Users can verify the authenticity of an advertiser and gather more information about them before making a purchase or visiting their website.
  2. Advertisers, on the other hand, can receive direct feedback from users in the form of likes, blocks or reports of inappropriate ads, thereby helping them improve their advertising strategies.

according to Brett Bodofsky, Sr. At paid search specialist Tinuiti, the latest tool introduces some unique features that are unmatched by anything else currently on the market.

Brett Bodofsky

“Historically, advertisers have had to pay for premium tools or at the very least access a third-party platform to spy on what ads competitors are serving. Now, with very little effort, you can search for any brand/company in the Google Ads Transparency Center and view their search ads, display ads, and video ads without logging into any third-party platform.”

“By being able to see what competitor’s ads were served in a specific region, the last ad run date and ad format, advertisers can influence creative and messaging, take advantage of when competitors stop running certain ads, and more. Beyond its impact from an advertising perspective, it also has a big impact in terms of transparency, especially when it comes to political advertising. The Google Ads Transparency Center provides even more data on political ads, such as total ad spend, start and end date, spend over time, by ad format and spend by location,” says Bodofsky.


Google’s commitment to making advertising safer and more accountable through the Center for Advertising Transparency demonstrates its commitment to user-centric advertising. Its global reach could set new standards in the advertising industry, promoting transparency and user control of online advertising like never before.

Want to learn more from our paid search experts? Contact us today!

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