Expanded Text Ads (ETA) are already available if you use AdWords and although the initial deadline for full implementation has been extended until January 31st, 2017, it’s best to start taking advantage of the new format as soon as possible.

What Are Expanded Text Ads?

In a nutshell, ETAs are an expansion of the traditional text ad.  The new ETA will allow you to use double headlines and more characters than before.

As far as the headlines format, advertisers can now use two 30-character headlines instead of the previous format with a single headline with just 25 characters.  According to Google, this change alone will result in CTR increasing by as much as 25 percent.  Obviously, this change will also bring Google more ad revenue as well as a higher ROI for advertisers.

This is an example showing the difference between old ads and new expanded text ads on both mobile and desktop:


Aside from the Headline changes, Google is also expanding the number of characters that advertisers can use in the description field. Rather than two separate description fields allowing 35 characters each, with the new format, advertisers can now write a single description with an 80-character limit.  In other words, a 5-character increase over the previous format.

Other text ad format updates include the elimination of the display URL.  AdWords will now automatically get the domain from the final URL of your ad. Instead, now you can add one or two paths to enhance your display URL with relevant keywords.

As you can see from the above graphic, the new ad format is being implemented to both desktop and mobile ads.  With the expected increase in CTR, it just makes sense to implement the new format as soon as possible rather than wait until the January 31st deadline established by Google.  If you’re an advertiser, this is not a good time to procrastinate (if there’s ever a good reason for it…).

Google’s ultimate goal is to standardize the user experience across all devices.  If you recall, earlier this year, Google also eliminated the right-side ads from desktop displays. Instead, now you only see four paid ads at the top of the page and three at the bottom.  The Expanded Text Ads are another step in that direction and a big step too!  Google has called this update the biggest change since AdWords started 15 years ago.

Again, the key part is to start converting your current text ads to the ETA format as soon as possible.  Although Google will phase out the old, standard ad format on January 31, 2017, there’s no logical reason to wait two months to get your ads updated.

This is another reason why Quality Score will become even more important in the future.  With the bigger ads and limited real estate, especially on mobile devices, if your ads are not at the top 2-3 spots, more likely they will not get that much exposure.

If you need help with this transition or if you have any other questions regarding your SEO or SEM campaigns, simply contact our MGR Team and we’ll be glad to speak with you.

Thank you for reading.  Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR).

*Text Ad Graphic Courtesy of Google