Expanded Google PPC Ads Roll Out

4th August 2016

Online advertisers face a major increase in their workload over the coming months as Google releases its first significant update to PPC text ads in years. The new format known as expanded ads has already rolled out in the UK and offers significantly more ad copy to tell your brands’ story.

The new design has been optimised for mobile devices and maximises the presence of ads in the search results. The new format offers nearly 50% more space for ad copy than previous iterations of AdWords.


What is the New AdWords Format?

expanded ad dimensions

The increase of 40 characters doesn’t tell the whole story. Overall, we can see an increase in the description fields of 10 characters and an increase of 35 characters in the headline.

It remains to be seen how many people make full use of the dual 15 character paths URL extensions. Few websites use directory paths in their URL’s any longer due to SEO concerns, so this construction may look regressive to modern consumers. Thankfully, the second part of the path is optional.


Google’s Expanded Ads Entry System.

Expanded Ad Entry

The new system retains its familiar interface. One major improvement is the automatic location of the domain of the display URL from within the final URL field.


What do Expanded Text Ads Look Like?

Expanded text ads
There are relatively few ads around at the moment, so it is hard to find an example of these new ads working with extensions. However, the basic layout gives more room to the ad, notably resulting in a wider headline, where Headline 1 and Headline 2 are combined together.

This allows something akin to an advertising strapline, moving upward some of the content that would previously have been displayed in description line 1.

The description lines have not grown significantly, however, the bringing together of the two lines means an end to the awkward juxtaposition of words to include the required or desirable keywords.


What do the Newly Expanded Text Ads Mean for Advertisers?

The old style ads are going to be around for a while yet, so there is no rush to replace them from an expiry standpoint.

However, in tests, Google AdWords reported a 20% uplift in click-through rates with the new format, so it seems likely that advertisers will be pushing for a move to expanded ads soon.