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Google Updates Ad Policy to Weed Out Certain Secondary Ticket Sellers

Searching for event tickets on Google will soon come with safeguards against scammer resale sites.

Searching for event tickets on the web will soon come with more safeguards against scammer resale sites. Google announced this week that, starting in January, any business in the secondary ticketing market looking to advertise through its massive Google AdWords service must first get certified.

To get that seal of approval, businesses must clearly disclose — at the top of a website or app — that they are a secondary seller, and not the primary ticket provider. The company’s name or URL must also not imply that it is “official” or include the name of a band or actual venue (example: UTalkingU2Tickets2Me.net or U2atO2Tickets.co.uk won’t fly, so don’t try it).


Resellers must also make it crystal clear that their ticket prices are likely higher than face value, plus provide a breakdown of fees and taxes. Starting in March 2018, resellers will have to list the face value of a ticket along with the new price, and in the same type of currency.

Primary ticket sellers like Ticketmaster need not apply for certification, but secondary sites like StubHub, Viagogo and TicketNetwork will have to get certified before advertising with AdWords. Sites that sell tickets both as a primary and reseller also need to be certified, as do aggregators of event tickets, like SeatGeek.

The certification process starts in January.