Google recently rolled out its new Expanded Text Ads changing the existing face of paid ads on its search results pages. With a harder focus on informative content and sleeker URL design, Google’s latest iteration allows more possibility for businesses to hone their advertising messages more effectively. With the announcement, Google released a detailed guide of its changes:

Expanded text ads are the next generation of text ads, designed for a mobile-first world with both users and advertisers in mind. Expanded text ads give advertisers additional control over their messaging, and provide users with more information before they click your ad. Like text ads, expanded text ads are available on both the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network, and are supported by all the AdWords tools that currently support text ads.

To further break it down, changes to the following items have been applied:

  • Headlines – 2 prominent, 30 character headlines as compared to the standard single 25-character headline.
  • Descriptions – a single, longer description of up to 80 characters as opposed to the standard two 35-character line descriptions.
  • URL Appearance – consolidated URL’s that do not need to match the inputted URL (e.g. if your inputted URL is, your ad’s URL will appear cleanly as
  • Paths – two optional 15 character customized URL paths are now available (positioned after the dominant URL). For example, if your final URL destination is, you can customize the path to appear as
  • Mobile – the mobile-preferred option has been excised.

Expanded Text Ads


With the roll out, Google also disclosed that on “October 26th, 2016, AdWords will no longer support the creation or editing of standard text ads. New text ads generated after that date should use the expanded text ad format. Existing standard text ads will continue to serve past October 26, 2016.” Despite the knee-jerk reaction to change immediately to the new layout, the new Expanded Text Ads have not debuted without some controversy and bugs. In a report released by Merkle on click-through rates of expanded text ads, the results were generally mixed:


Expanded Text Ads

Source: Merkle


While non-brand text ads achieved a slight lift by comparison, this would suggest a strategy of keeping some standard text ads active if a muti-ad campaign is being run until the October 26th due date or improvements are made.

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