Political ads on Google are becoming more transparent. Now you can easily find all cataloged on a new web site from the company that tracks who is buying what and for how much.
Started on Wednesday, the new site offers an eye-opening view of how online political ad spending can work. It offers a breakdown on the ad expenditure of the state, which are the biggest buyers are, and what popular Google keywords, the ads have appeared.
The site also provides the summaries of the individual ad campaigns for each buyer. For example, you may find the meaning of a political action committee and finding the locations and demographic groups are ad campaigns that are targeted.
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Google’s site also catalogues the ads ran with the campaign, and how many views they receive. The data on the site goes back to May
but it will be updated every week. “So as we head into the election season, everyone can see the new ads that are uploaded or new advertisers who decide to Google ads,” company product lead
Smith said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Google launched the new site in the midst of ongoing concerns about the U.S. elections security. In October last year, the company said it uncovered evidence that the Russian workers had bought political ads on the platform to the influence 2016 presidential race. “Tens of thousands of dollars spent on ads that were shown on YouTube and via Google Search and Gmail.
To prevent future jams, Google in May said that it would be the launch of an upcoming transparency site about the election ads. The company also started demanding all political ad buyers confirm that they are a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident. To do this, buyers must submit a government-issued id and other “important information” to the company before they can place ads. The same advertising must also clearly show who has paid.
The information on Google’s new political ad transparency site, which covers video, image and text-based ads. However, the site does have some limitations. For example, the database only refers to ads that mention a candidate or a federally-elected holder. It also doesn’t see where the ad is displayed on Google, or with what keywords, although the video-based ads probably appeared on YouTube.
Despite the limitations, Google said that the new site promises “unprecedented, data-driven insights” in the election of ads on the company platforms. Everyone, including researchers and political watchdog, can also dig through the ad-data via a search or through a Google-API developed.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.