Google Rolls Out Expanded Text Ads; SEM Advertisers Rejoice
For those of us used to being confined to the all too familiar formula of 25-35-35 when writing ad copy, the latest announcement by Google to roll out expanded text ads is a dream come true. Since Adwords was launched in 2000, text ads have consisted of a 25-character headline followed by two 35-character description lines. Many of us know the pains of trying to fit our messaging into these strict character limits very well, but now text ad real estate will be increased by a whopping 47%, giving advertisers a greater opportunity to convey their message to users. There will now be two headlines with 30 characters each, in addition to a description line of 80 characters. While the display URLs used to be entered manually, they will now be automatically populated using the final URL. They will also be customizable up to two ways (for two different paths).
Many people (myself included) are probably wondering why Google has suddenly decided to make this drastic, but wonderful change. All signs point to the growth of mobile and how Google needs to adapt accordingly, as the new length of the ads will be a better fit for smartphone screens. This development also goes hand in hand with the elimination of right hand rail ads that occurred this past winter, leaving more room for additional text and making ads appear more consistent across all devices.
Although we can’t automatically presume these new ad formats will ensure success, they are certainly worth testing. This would be a good idea for marketers sooner rather than later, as testing became available in Q2 and Google is rumored to be phasing out standard text ads as early as October 2016. Any way to add to and improve upon ads could only be beneficial if done the right way, especially with the continued use of different types of ad extensions. With all of the additional content and detail available, ads will continue to become more relevant to searchers, generating more qualified traffic and making SEM an increasingly valuable marketing medium for businesses of all sizes and varieties.