Google launches searchable database on US political ads

August 16, 2018


Political ads on Google are getting more transparent. You can now easily find them all cataloged on a new company website that tracks who is buying what and for how much.

Launched on Wednesday, the new site offers an eye-opening view of how online political ad spending can work. It offers a breakdown on ad spending by state, who the biggest buyers are, and which popular Google keywords the ads have appeared with.

The site also offers summaries of individual ad campaigns from each buyer. For instance, you can look up a political action committee and find out the locations and demographic groups its ad campaigns have been targeting.

Google’s site also catalogs what ads ran with the campaign, and how many views they received. The data on the site only goes back to May 31, but will be updated each week. “So as we head into election season, anyone can see new ads that get uploaded or new advertisers that decide to run Google ads,” company product lead Michee Smith said in a blog post on Wednesday.

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