If you haven’t been actively tuned in, you may not have noticed that Google is making some big waves in search this year. We previously reported that Google decided to remove all ads from the right rail, which was a huge change and continues to impact both paid and organic strategies for our clients.
Now Google has decided to mix up SERPs – or Search Engine Results Pages – even more with a new addition to ad formats. The latest edition: Extended Text Ads. These ads are exactly what they sound like; Google’s standard text ads, but with extended character limits and, consequently, more real-estate.
So what’s changing? The headlines on these new ads contain an extra 10 characters and are now two headlines, separated by a hyphen, and all wrapped into one line, allowing brands and advertisers to say more in a big way without having to compromise the ad descriptions. Instead of the typical 70-character limit of ad description text, ETA’s will allow 10 additional characters, letting advertisers write within an 80-character limit. In total, that’s 20 additional characters (looking at you copywriters!).
Another significant update is the formatting of display URL’s, which will also be extended in length. Instead of having the ability to create your own display URL from scratch, Google will auto-extract the domain from the final URL. In addition to the root, Google will now have an additional component of ads, called ”path fields,” which are up to two fields and 15 characters each. For example, a display URL can now look like www.buymystuff.com/homeandgarden/trampolines, compared to www.buymystuff.com/home. Here’s a look at what the ads will look like on both desktop and mobile.
What Does This Mean?
Time for a creative refresh! Now that right-hand rail ads are gone, brands need to do what they can to stand out in search results. Adding in these new ad types to an ad group and campaign near you are going to not only help ads stand out in search results and convey more content within an ad, but will also improve ad performance as well. In a pre-launch document provided by Google, it mentioned a potential increase of 20 percent on average in click-through rates. That’s a lot more traffic efficiencies!
ETA for ETA?
Google has eluded to a soft launch with a closed Beta on May 15th and then opening up to all advertisers later this summer. DEG is currently working with its Google Partner Agency Strategist to be whitelisted for the Beta and will be applying these new ads for all of our clients by the 15th. We are anticipating to see click-through-rates improve and will report back when we have the data to measure the impact.