By Emily Drumm, Senior Paid Media Strategist
Google adds extra characters to its text ads by offering space for a third headline and a second description… but it doesn’t come without a catch.
In May, Google announced a beta-test called “Responsive Search Ads.” Advertisers in the test can write up to 15 headlines and four descriptions that Google will dynamically assemble and test to find the top-performing combinations. This beta-test is limited and is not available to every user. While Google works on perfecting it’s Responsive Search Ads they rolled out expanded text ads to all users in late August.
You may recall that Google character limits got an upgrade in 2016 where character limits almost doubled. Even longer text ads shows that Google is relying heavily on machine learning optimization to improve user experience and ad performance. Besides adding new character limits Google is pushing users to add three to five ads to each ad group. These changes are aimed at taking some of the work off of advertisers by allowing it’s algorithm to optimize combinations of text ads. It is also forcing advertisers to trust the Google machine to optimize correctly.
Here are the new Google Ads character limits:
|Headline 1||30 characters|
|Headline 2||30 characters|
|Headline 3 – New!||30 characters|
|Description 1||90 characters|
|Description 2 – New!||90 characters|
So… What’s the Catch?
Headline 3 and Description 2 may not always show. Like Responsive Search Ads in beta, Google will test different configurations of text to improve ad performance. You may think: This sounds great! I can add more detail about my business! However, the new auto-optimized ad configurations will make it more difficult to create effective ads. Advertisers will need to ensure that their ad copy will display the right message when using any of six possible combinations of headlines and descriptions.
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