Google launches Expanded Text Ads with Mobile in mind

How will it look? What are the benefits? How does this affect mobile search?

Last night, Google released a new ad format dubbed Expanded Text Ads. The new format is being rolled out following the removal of text ads in the right hand side bar.

What’s changed?

  • This new format allows advertisers to include two headlines of text, each up to 30 characters long, instead of the original one line of 25 characters.
  • The description line can now contain up to 80 characters of text, instead of 70 characters as in the old format.
  • The Display URL field now allows advertisers to append two paths, meaning you can be more specific. The domain is extracted automatically from the final URL.
  • The ad copy is nearly 50% bigger – great for maximising presence on mobile search results.


The ad editor has been changed to accommodate these updates, shown below:

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 10.45.59


How this could benefit PPC campaigns

This is the first change to character limits in Google Text Ads in over 15 years; it heralds a new approach to messaging to consumers and allows searchers to gather more information before clicking ads. Consumers will be better informed,  which in turn could result in:

  • Better engagement on-site
  • Lower bounce rates
  • Consumers find what they are looking for quicker and easier…
  • …Thus resulting in higher conversion rates

Google expects this change to improve CTR by up to 20% over existing text ads, with this likely to decrease as the new format is widely adopted. However, we expect that the additional SERP real estate that paid search ads will own will shift more traffic towards ads over organic results. This clearly makes sense for Google, but in terms of competition between paid ads, the advantage lies in early adoption.



Improved Mobile Experience

The Expanded Text Ads format accommodates the growing opportunity in mobile search. The ads will be larger, clearer and more informative – assisting consumers in making decisions. This ultimately means that the top position becomes even more important, as the ads will have more prominence than ever before. On small screens, this is a key factor in CTR uplift. An improved mobile experience for consumers should see increased campaign success for advertisers.


Looking forward

Of course, this new ad format will mean a lot of testing in the early stages for advertisers, and it will be interesting to see some initial results and best practises further down the line. Until then, there will be much more communication from Google on the roll-out of this and how it is affecting the performance for individual advertisers.


Robert Davis

Robert Davis is a teamlead of ten PPC experts at crealytics. A PPC veteran with over 8 years working in the PPC industry, Robert has driven successful projects across multiple industry verticals. Specialised in the latest and greatest ecommerce search and Shopping strategies, he pushes the envelope when delivering performance.