May 17, 2022

New Resource: Google Publishes its Political Ad Database, Detailing Spending in U.S. Federal Elections

From Venture Beat:

Google today published its political ad database, joining Facebook and Twitter in offering more disclosure around online ad spending after all three were prompted to do so by federal lawmakers.

The library only contains ads dealing with federal elections — so you won’t find any ads purchased by your local mayor. The database contains any political ads purchased to run on Google Search or YouTube starting on or after May 31. The database will be updated weekly, not in real time. The database will include information about who paid for the ad, how many impressions it received, how long it ran for, and how much money was spent on it.


Google also announced today that it will be adding a section on Political Advertising on Google to its Transparency Report, which will be updated weekly to show how much money is being spent to serve political ads on Google on a state and congressional district level.

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More From Google Blog:

Meanwhile, our new, searchable election Ad Library shows things like which ads had the highest views, what the latest election ads running on our platform are, and deep dives into specific advertisers’ campaigns. In addition, the data from the report and Ad Library is publicly available on Google Cloud’s BigQuery. Using BigQuery’s API, anyone can write code and run their own unique queries on this data set. Researchers, political watchdog groups and private citizens can use our data set to develop charts, graphs, tables or other visualizations of political advertising on Google Ads services. Together with the Transparency Report, we hope this provides unprecedented, data-driven insights into election ads on our platform.

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Direct to Political Ads Library (Interactive)

Direct to Political Ads Section of Google Transparency Report

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.