In an effort to accommodate a “mobile-first world”, Google started rolling out expanded text ads in May to whitelisted advertisers, with an estimated full launch to all advertisers later this year. They will display on both desktop and mobile but are designed to maximize an advertiser’s presence in the mobile paid search results. These will feature a double-headline as well as extra characters to highlight products and services, which is close to a 50% increase in space over current text ads.
Key changes are outlined below:
It’s clear that this could have a huge impact on how users interact with paid ads on both mobile and desktop; even more so than the anticipated impact of the removal of right sidebar ads. Google outlines benefits such as more creative control with an added headline and longer messaging, an estimate of up to 20% increase in CTR over existing text ads, and a more optimized mobile experience.
Google also stated that this will only affect 20% of traffic to start, which is the slow roll-out characteristic of new Google betas. As far as the new ad format’s full support in third-party tools, the timeline remains unclear. DoubleClick Search is making high-level accommodations for the new beta but is not able to fully support them yet. It is possible that ad performance will have to be recorded separately until it is made available across all tools.
Again we ask, what are the implications for us as holistic digital marketers? Will a higher CTR for paid search come at the expense of organic traffic as it gets pushed further down? What will happen to the organic mobile experience? We will be forming additional thoughts on strategy around this upcoming change to monitor and support both channels and ultimately aim for an increase in overall search revenue. Stay tuned for follow-up posts as we explore and test this new ad format.