" />

Google to Reformat Paid Ad Descriptions

Posted on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News, SEM

Google is set to make another change to the appearance of their paid-search advertisements. Once this is implemented, any description line 1 that ends in punctuation will be tacked on to the headline and separated by a dash. The change will only affect paid ads appearing in the top three positions.



As with any change to Google’s search results page (SERP), this reformatting could impact key metrics. We expect this change to improve click-through rate (CTR) and increase competition on the top three paid search positions. As Danielle Sadowski, Group Account Director at The Search Agency explains, “The headline is traditionally a very appealing portion of the creative unit. During creative testing we have found that changing the headline to be highly relevant to the query searched or using a strong brand name has always helped increase the CTR of the ads. Making the headline longer will certainly give advertisers more room to create a compelling message and grab the users attention. Conversely, the longer text may detract users’ engagement as it makes the text look more like an ad unit. I’m excited to test this new ad variation and measure whether there is a positive impact on CTR as was suggested by Google’s research and also measure whether there is also an impact on conversion rate.”

Google has not announced when this new format will go into effect.  Once it has been implemented, we will measure the impact on our clients’ AdWords campaigns.

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon +

Tags | , , ,

14 Responses to “Google to Reformat Paid Ad Descriptions”

  1. This is potentially a big change when looking at individual advertisers. In the past the ability to use longer headlines on Yahoo could dramatically allow you to move performance against an individual keyword as compared to standardized ads ported from Google. As the headline elements draw so much attention in ads, a major change in that real estate would make 1) separating messaging in D1 and D2 lines, 2) using punctuation in D1, 3) tying D1 into headline messaging, and 4) testing that much more important in winning in competitive verticals on Google.

    Best! -Mike

  2. Stu says:

    Hmmmm, cool info and nice to know ahead of time. I wonder how much it will change CTR. I think it will make the ad look more like an organic result because of the longer, blue, hyperlink text.

  3. Luke says:

    Google seems to be squeezing every penny they can out of Adwords by increasing CTR. I wonder if long term term all this focus on getting searchers to click on Paid Ads hurts them? If I weren’t so familiar with Adwords, and got confused and clicked on paid ads constantly(because they are looking more and more like organic results), I would stop using Google because all I’m seeing are sales pages that are pushing me to buy something.

  4. From Google Contact (Ok’d to share external):

    “The ad format changes will be taking place over the next two weeks for top ads. A a decent number of ads had a first line that looks like a complete sentence, so we experimented moving that complete sentence up to the top with the headline (separated by a dash, of course).By doing this, we noticed there was a performance increase for the entire top ad block. Keep your eyes out for a blog post on this soon.”

  5. Wow, this change makes for huge adwords headline – I imagine the longer blue underline link, with potentially more bolded keywords would perform better – but we’ll have to wait and see.

  6. Victoria Morgan says:

    I really liked the post you’ve made a lot of excellent points here. I recently read a great post about “How to Create Awareness,” check it out http://www.inboundsales.net/blog/bid/37922/How-to-Create Awareness

  7. Hey there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with? I’m going to start my own blog soon but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design seems different then most blogs and I’m looking for something unique. P.S Apologies for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

  8. If Billy Crystal and Bette Midler were ten or fifteen years older, they would
    probably still be able to pull this family comedy off in a big way and would still be at the top of their game.
    This holiday has both physical and online stores running highly discounted deals, even
    on the newest games and consoles. She told their daughter Alice (Marisa
    Tomei) that they would babysit their three grandchildren in order
    for Alice to have a long overdue vacation with her husband
    (Tom Everett Scott).

    my blog post :: parental Guidance Bluray Download

  9. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now
    each time a comment is added I get several emails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  10. Good day I am so excited I found your site, I really
    found you by accident, while I was researching
    on Yahoo for something else, Nonetheless I am here now
    and would just like to say cheers for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don_t have time to browse
    it all at the moment but I have book-marked it and also included
    your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do
    keep up the superb work.

  11. essayrank says:

    NFL live, live nfl, Free Stream, online HD video
    and TV link, Linux, watch NFL Championship live. Preferred Seating
    Tickets is a trustable website that provides
    the genuine entry tickets online for all kinds of
    events. If you are a fan of Tiger Woods and you love seeing
    golfers in action then there is an opportunity for you.


  1. Tweets that mention Google to reformat paid ad descriptions | The Search Agents -- Topsy.com
  2. The Week We Searched For- January 28, 2011 - Web Design Greece – WEBTEC

Leave a Reply

Follow Us on Twitter

Featured in Alltop

Big List - Search Marketing Blogs

2010 SEMMY Runner-Up

BoostCTR Best PPC Blogs