AdWords Beta Longer Ad Text

Story Text:

Had an email yesterday inviting us to get in on Phase 2 of a beta program to extend the textual content of AdWords, with the rationale being better CTR figures form their Phase 1 results. This change ONLY impacts the description field, permitting up to 200 chars, so long as the description remains broadly similar to the existing creative. The submission deadline is 8th August.

Given the rest of the contents of the email, I believe that ads that have "gone North" are being selected for this phase, as the main difference in display will be on top strip ads. RHS ads will continue to look the same but will trail.... like so at the current character cutoff. According to the email, the longer ads won't be visible in your account, but will be reported on separately.

Given that this move will make AdWords look more like YSN ads, and expecially in the light of this cheeky little paragraph

We will alternate showing your regular ad text with the longer version of the text. We plan to experiment with slight layout variations of the longer ad text in order to determine which layout design will perform the best.

do you think G are prepping to make a concerted attack on YSN's advertiser base? It certainly feels like a possibility to me....

After all, the extra chars were (IMO) one of Ys strongest differentiators from the AdWords product. There's still sunlight between the 2 due to their differing ranking mechanisms, but I think G may be trying to remove a biggish barrier to entry to their program.



one of the ways I said Yahoo! could make their contextual product better than AdSense was:
Allow advertisers to run various ad copy lengths.

I am guessing this Google announcement is timed to overshaddow Yahoo!'s contextual ad announcement.

It's About Time

Now a question..

Are they trying to be more like Overture or do they want the top ad to more closely resemble the natural listings?

#2 would be my guess. We'll know for sure if they change the layout of the top ad's text to match the regular SERPs. Of course, they'll have to keep the blue background for the FCC.

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