Google’s New Expanded Text Ads: Performance Implications for Brands

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Google’s New Expanded Text Ads: Performance Implications for Brands

At this year’s Google Performance Summit, Google announced the new Expanded Text Ads (ETAs).  ETAs are meant to maximize paid search presence—especially in mobile—with 50% greater ad copy, including more prominent headlines.  ETAs are currently in beta in the U.S. and select markets, and they will be released to all advertisers in the summer.


In summary:

  • Text ad headers will increase from 1 to 2 headlines
  • Each headline will increase to 30 characters per line
  • Ad descriptions will allow for 80 characters total
  • Display URLs will be auto-extracted from the landing page domain. Subdomains can be updated manually in the ETA interface for better Display URL definition.

Expanded Text Ads

Image courtesy of Google

As you can see in the above example, ads will have longer messaging.  In particular, advertisers gain an additional line of text on mobile results pages.


In testing, Google has found that ETAs drive up to 20% higher click-through rates (CTRs) vs. the traditional format.  Key implications for brands include:

  1. Mobile Search Real Estate: On smaller mobile screens, size matters.  Even one additional line of text can take valuable search page real estate from your competition, pushing them down the screen.  ETAs will even slightly push down organic mobile search results, aligning with the trend of paid media continually gaining space in mobile results.  As ETAs roll out, top-sponsored mobile positions will become more important for visibility and clicks.  Brands should monitor changes in traffic volume.
  2. Clean URL Structure: Going forward, display URLs (e.g. the URL within the ad) will be auto-extracted from the landing page that the ad directs to. This means that advertisers must be diligent in cleaning up URL structures of their landing pages, in order to create display URLs that are relevant to the query and easy on the eyes.  Every component of a paid search ad (title, description, display URL, sitelinks) contributes to the clickability of the ad.  Optimized URL structure has historically been a component of SEO.  Now—with auto-extracted URLs—SEO strategy must align closer with paid search strategy.
  3. Bid Management Platforms: For advertisers using bid management platforms (e.g. Marin, Doubleclick), a full external WebAPI release supporting complete reporting and management of ETAs will be available at the end of May.

During the beta, ETAs will run on up to 20% of impressions.  ETAs can also run with existing, shorter text ads.  All ad extensions will be compatible with ETAs, and ETAs won’t impact Quality Score, Ad Rank or organic rankings.

For more information on Google Extended Text Ads, contact Performics today.

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