August 2016 – Expanded text ads (ETAs) are officially launched in Google, reportedly the biggest change to the Google ad format in the last 15 years. Following February’s removal of right side rail ads on desktop, this most recent change to ad format is “designed for a mobile-first world,” though the ads will be applied across both desktop and mobile. Google’s expanded text ads offer nearly 50% more ad copy, feature a more prominent headline, and provide extra ad space to highlight additional products and services. To help marketers get started with the new ad units, Google published a best practices guide.
What specifically changed in the expanded text ads?
- Two headline fields instead of one field
- One extended character length description line instead of two lines (Google merged the previous lines together)
- Displays domain of ad’s final URL (including auto-generation based on landing page URL, with minimal URL path customization)
AFTER – Expanded text ads BEFORE – Standard text ads
Google has also set new device bid adjustments to give users the flexibility and control to bid on tablets, in addition to desktop and mobile. Marketers can maintain the efficiency of campaigns cross device and can reference Google’s best practices guide here.
WHAT MARKETERS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT EXPANDED TEXT ADS
With more searches moving towards mobile devices, expanded text ads can help marketers’ ads become more relevant and informative to users.
Advertisers will no longer be able to create or upload standard text ads after January 31, 2017. However, existing standard text ads will continue to serve alongside expanded text ads. Google has not set a date when standard ads will no longer run with ETAs, but the timeline should give advertisers sufficient time to test standard and expanded ad formats against each other to ensure they are properly using ETAs.