Google Updates Ad Policy to Weed Out Certain Secondary Ticket Sellers

Google Updates Ad Policy to Weed Out Certain Secondary Ticket Sellers”

Searching for event tickets on the web will soon come with more safeguards against scammer resale sites.

Primarily, the move is targeting temporary websites selling fake tickets.

Primary ticket sellers including Ticketmaster don't need to apply for certification, but secondary sites such as StubHub and Viagogo must get Google approval. It also means gig-goers don't necessarily realise they have bought a touted ticket that could be cancelled by the promoter. "This includes businesses that sell tickets both as a primary provider and a reseller".

A recent analysis of 100 United Kingdom tours by artists artists ranging from Metallica to hip-hop outfit Run the Jewels found that a secondary ticketing website had paid to top the Google search rankings on 77% of occasions.

LPA Chief Executive Evelyn Richardson said: "Some ticket resellers have been passing themselves off as the official ticket seller for shows and events through their manipulation of online search and advertising practices".

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The organisation's Adam Webb said at the time: "If you're looking to attend a gig or festival, you'd probably expect a search engine to act as a trusted guide and direct you to the legitimate ticket seller".

'The recent "Ticked Off" report highlighted that a significant proportion of would-be ticket buyers use Google as their first port of call, while FanFair's own research has illustrated the extent to which Viagogo, StubHub and Get Me In! use paid search to dominate Google rankings. They make little indication that they are secondary ticketing platforms. Concerns weren't limited to the United Kingdom either, with the issue being raised in both Ireland and Australia, among other places.

This might be why Google has made a decision to alter its advertising rules so that, from next year, ticket resellers will need to be certified before using its AdWords platform. It will also ensure that resellers provide a breakdown of the prices before checkout, including fees and taxes.

From March 2018, Google will also require resellers to post the original price of tickets alongside theirs.

In a statement this morning, FanFair welcomed Google's new policy.

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