Google have been testing a new format for text ads, which has been provisionally dubbed ‘Expanded Text Ads’. The news, originally reported by Search Engine Land, comes just a few short weeks after the search engine giant made the decision to stop showing adverts on the right hand side of result pages on desktop.
The main difference with the new format is the ability to have longer headlines, which will display across devices, in any ad position, as well as a full description line of up to 80 characters. In total, these changes would provide Google AdWords users with an additional 47 percent of space to work with when creating their text ads.
At present, Google AdWords operates a system whereby extended headlines are possible for select ads, where the first description line appears to be a distinct sentence and ends with a punctuation mark, as long as the ad appears above search results. In these cases, description line 1 is moved into the headline, making it longer.
With the new format being tested, however, ads will be able to have longer headlines and a full description copy. Previously, the description copy was limited to 70 characters, but this will be extended to 80 characters. The removal of ads from the right hand side has also helped to ensure this will be possible for any ad position, on any device.
‘Closed Beta’ Phase
Another of the changes being tested by Google involves the URL formatting on ads. More specifically, users of Google AdWords will be able to append up to two paths or directories to the domain name. In terms of the AdWords interface, the test is trialling a new field for the second part of the headline and new fields for the URL paths.
It is worth noting that the new test is currently in the ‘closed beta’ phase and there is no information on when testing may be expanded to include more participants. In fact, Google have not officially announced the current testing, although they did release a statement to Search Engine Land.
“We regularly test different ad formats with the goal of providing useful information to users and driving even better results for advertisers,” they told the website. “Beyond that, we don’t have anything to announce at this time.”