Google recent announced several major changes during its 2016 Performance Summit, including the planned roll-out of ‘Expanded Text Ads’ – something they have recently been testing across all devices with a closed beta trial. This new ad format is perhaps the largest change to the user-search experience to date – though is largely unsurprising news, due to the amount of whitespace left as a result of the recent removal of right hand side text ads earlier this year.
The decision came as part of ‘paving the way’ towards creating a more consistent search experience across devices, with the major focus being on improving user experience in ‘mobile-first world’.
Expanded text ads are designed to do exactly that – and are “optimised for screen sizes of the most popular smartphones”. The new format will allow two headlines – both up to 30 characters in length – instead of the usual single 25 character headline of text. The descriptive line will change from 35 characters to a massive 80 – whilst the Display URL path can consist of two separate lines of text, up to 10 characters each.
Sridhar Ramaswamy, the Senior Vice President of Ads and Commerce at Google, suggests that “these upgrades help your ads work harder across screens, especially for the on-the-go mobile consumer that wants to know exactly what you offer before tapping into your website”. We expect to see this have a positive impact on CTR, particularly on mobile devices – as the opportunity to develop a responsive and highly informative mobile ad increases.