March 27, 2018

Google AdWords Changes: Ticket Reseller Certifications

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Published: 27 March 2018 

Google continues with the company’s efforts to create a better platform for its advertisers. After the thorough changes to YouTube – and the controversies caused by the changes – Google turned its attention to AdWords. The introduction of Showcase Shopping ads and Universal App Campaigns were among the big changes introduced in 2017.

Google also worked hard in tackling the problems its advertising network faces, with a new introduction of a certification process for event ticket resellers at the peak of those changes. These certification requirements, mean ticket resellers need to go through a few extra steps before they can advertise event tickets on AdWords.


Event Ticket Reseller Certification

Before we discuss how the new certification affects ticket resellers, we need to first take a closer look at the certification requirements and the process itself. Based on Google’s own Advertising Policies, there are a couple of additional requirements that resellers have to meet to get certified.

The first one is transparency. Google now requires businesses that resell tickets to be upfront that they are resellers. This is a step taken to better protect the customers and prevent confusion. The disclosure must also appear on the home page of the business website.

The same requirement applies to the ads themselves. The use of words like “official” – which depict the business as a primary provider rather than a reseller – are also banned. Even display URLs are strictly governed by the new set of requirements.

Better Customer Protection

The certification is meant to provide better customer protection. False or ambiguous advertising is no longer allowed, and businesses have to disclose their position clearly. There are also rules about accurate pricing, with transparency being the primary focus of the whole policy.

Primary providers of event tickets don’t need to apply for certification to advertise their tickets through AdWords. Secondary providers or resellers of tickets, on the other hand, must apply for certification before they can advertise event tickets, even when they also assume the role of primary providers for select events.

Aggregators and marketplaces are the most impacted by this new certification policy. Since they are regarded as secondary providers, they too have to apply for certifications before they can use AdWords to advertise their platforms.

March 2018 Deadline

The certification process itself is very straightforward. You start by filling out the Event Ticket Reseller Application form provided by Google. Further explanations on how the form must be filled in and the requirements to be met are provided on this page.

Aside from company details, you need to enter your AdWords customer ID and the list of URLs and apps to be certified. In select cases such as when the domain you use contains the name of the event or artist, you are also required to attach proof of domain ownership.

Lastly, you must agree that the registered URLs and apps will continue to follow Google’s guidelines after the certification is granted. This is to prevent the abuse of AdWords to circulate false advertising. According to explanations from Google and various sources, the new policy will be in force starting March 2018.


It is a well-received customer protection measure. Event organisers are welcoming the change in policy by Google as a step towards the right direction. At Matter Solutions, our AdWords management experts are already assisting clients in getting their domains and apps certified.

The move also pushes ticket resellers to utilise other digital marketing instruments. Get your site certified as an event ticket reseller and work with Matter Solutions in reaching the right audience today.

Ben Maden

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