Google Revenue Verification Report confirms buyer, publisher ad spend

The new report is a way for ad buyers to confirm that no hidden fees will be taken from their gross revenue, without compromising privacy.

Chat with SearchBot

Google has created Confirming Gross Revenue, a new solution to give ad buyers and publishers a way to verify that there were no hidden fees taken from their transactions within Ads Manager.

View the report. Advertisers can view the new Revenue Verification Report to see the total gross revenue received from a specific publisher.

Google says that the ad buyer and media publisher can then come together to verify that the media cost from the buyers’ report matches the gross revenue the publisher received.

The idea here is that if the numbers match, the buyer can assume that their full media spend reached the publisher and no hidden fees were taken.

Early testing. Google is testing the new reporting with Display and Video 360, but are collaborating with other demand-side platforms, sell-side platforms, publishers and agencies to implement similar reporting with other partners.

Thanks, Google? Google claims that (on average) 15% of advertisers’ ad spend is unattributable, and they estimate about half of the revenue from display advertising is kept by the advertising technology providers themselves. While Google Ads doesn’t take hidden fees, Google said they “can’t speak for other companies in the space.”

Even when ads flow through both our buy-side and sell-side services, publishers receive most of the revenue. In fact in 2019, when marketers used Google Ads or Display & Video 360 to buy display ads on Google Ad Manager, publishers kept over 69 percent of the revenue generated. And when publishers use our Ad Manager platform to sell ads directly to advertisers, they keep even more of the revenue.  

Google has also participated in industry transparency standards “across buyside and sellside businesses, like ads.txt / app-ads.txt, sellers.json and SupplyChain Object into Ads Data Hub to help marketers using Display & Video 360 see the steps their impressions took before arriving on a publisher’s site.”

The objective of these transparency initiatives is to give advertisers better visibility into buying decisions and strengthen fraud detection. 

E02772951 Google CGR Infographic Jul22 V07.max 1000x1000 1

What Google says. “​​Confirming Gross Revenue is one part of our efforts to address concerns over the lack of transparency that we have heard from publishers, agencies, advertisers and regulators. Over the next few months, we’ll continue to work with the industry on shaping this new solution and, more broadly, initiatives to instill more confidence in online advertising. Bringing greater transparency to advertisers, agencies and publishers is core to our approach.  We welcome participation from others who want to work together to advance an ad-supported internet that works for everyone,” according to Allan Thygesen, President, Americas & Global Partners. 

Read the full blog post. You can learn more and read the full post here.

Why we care. Do we? Maybe I’m wrong but I’ve never been fortunate enough to question where my ad dollars are going, and I don’t know any other agencies or advertisers that have. While I don’t agree with some of the websites and platforms my ads end up on, I never considered that mysterious fees were the explanation for any mismatch in revenue reporting.

On the upside, this new report might call out shady behavior of platforms that have been taking hidden fees or a cut of ad spend without the buyer knowing. It doesn’t hurt to check out the new reports if you use Display or Video 360 and see what information they provide about where your ad spend is going.

Contributing authors are invited to create content for Search Engine Land and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the search community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

About the author

Nicole Farley
Nicole Farley is the founder of Web Sprout, an inbound marketing agency. She formerly was PPC Editor for Search Engine Land (from 2022-2023), covering paid search, paid social, Google Analytics and more. In addition to being a Marine Corps veteran, she has an extensive background in digital marketing, an MBA and a penchant for true crime, podcasts, travel, and snacks.

Get the must-read newsletter for search marketers.