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  • Oct 01, 2021
  • PPC

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Team TIS

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In February 2017, Google gave all advertisers an early Valentine’s Day present by launching Expanded Text Ads as the new standard format on mobile search ads. In case you missed it, though, it’s not as big of a deal as it sounds…or maybe it is? Here’s what you need to know about Expanded Text Ads— and why they might end up being more important than you think.

What Is An Expanded Text Ad?

Before we dive into why they’re over, it’s worth talking about what expanded text ads are. They were first introduced in early 2017 as a way to include more information about your business (or your call-to-action) on mobile devices.

Expanded text ads

This is especially important on mobile because screen space is limited. To create an expanded text ad, you have to choose between three possible formats—Headline 1, Headline 2, or Description Line 1—for each line of text. The only time these changes will appear on the desktop is when users are searching with their mobile device in mind.

Why Is Google Not Allowing Expanded Text Ad?

Google’s algorithm takes into account your website, relevant products on your site, ad copy, keywords in that ad copy, match types (device-specific), position in the search results page, etc. to decide which of your ads should show in response to a search query. This is different from bidding for text ads where you only pay when someone clicks on it.

Relevance in advertising is based on each individual’s interests so an extremely relevant ad can be clicked without any intention of buying or visiting that site. So why does Google provide free access to its engine even if it loses money? Because Google makes their money through data mining businesses online activities using cookies across all browsers.

Reasons Why Expanded Text Ads Failed

The transition to Expanded Text Ads search ads didn’t succeed due to various reasons. First, expanded text ads will put unnecessary stress on advertisers and ad agencies. Second, advertisers can get too much information from expanded text ads; we found that most people will give up on them after only a few seconds. Lastly, expanded text ads makes it difficult for people with bad eyesight or little time to find what they want in an ad quickly and easily. Here are some more reasons for its failure:

#1 – It Fails to Provide Value on Mobile

Expanded text ads are far too large to be easily scannable on smartphones. The same is true for tablets—tablets have plenty of screen real estate, but there’s still enough difference in size between a tablet and a computer that smaller text ads are easier to scan. However, when you’re using your phone or tablet, even when you zoom in, expanded text ads are quite difficult to read.

#2 – No Space for Call-to-Action

Did you know that advertisers can include a call-to-action (CTA) button in their ads and accompanying text? It’s true. While there’s no room for it in most search ads, expanded text ads allow marketers to feature up to three lines of persuasive copy within their ad. Before, you were limited to one or two actionable items—such as requesting more information, downloading an app or visiting a website—within your search ad headline. But now, with expanded text ads, advertisers have so much more space to tout important features of their services or products. This means that they’ll be able to create better CTRs for consumers at all stages of your sales funnel.

#3 – No Explanation of why Click on Ad Helps Customer

Right now, click on ad is off by default. When Google rolls out expanded text ads to all accounts, it will be off by default as well. Advertisers will need to turn it on, and so long as they do not provide any user value in their ads (as outlined above), there is little incentive for users to click on their ads. More importantly, Google knows that many advertisers are violating their own policies, which can result in them being banned from AdWords. If users do not see any benefit in clicking on your ad because you are giving them no information, then they won’t click through your ad.

What Does This Change Mean?

Search ads are designed to lead people to websites, not just specific products or services. Most ads that appear in search results are responsive ads. These expand to show additional text when a user hovers over them with their cursor.

This gives you an opportunity to include more information about your business in your search ad so it appeals to more people who are interested in what you do. Responsive ads help companies get traffic from users searching on mobile devices, which now account for more than half of all Google searches worldwide.

What Impact Will This Have on Advertisers?

How should advertisers prepare for a change in Google’s text ads? Early tests indicate that audiences who view a variety of creative will have a more positive experience. This means taking time to test multiple headlines, descriptions, and landing pages. As with any significant change to Google’s ad platform, there’s likely to be some fallout from advertisers trying to take shortcuts around the rollout.

In other words, don’t just repurpose your existing text ads or you’ll likely see declines in performance compared to using fully-optimized creative that considers all three components: headline, description line 1, description line 2. That said, I wouldn’t expect too much movement at first as many marketers will still be getting comfortable with expanded text ads as they roll out over an extended period of time.

What Should Advertisers Do Now?

Advertisers should stop using Expanded Text Ads. Google has said that these ads will be removed from search results in October 2018 (they’re already no longer available on mobile devices). Until then, advertisers can continue to use them or switch to their regular Text Ads.

There is no set timeline for when it will be completely eliminated, but Google has made it clear that they want advertisers to move away from expanded text ads. And remember: Advertisers with up-to-date Smart Bidding strategies shouldn’t need to worry about making any changes right now since they shouldn’t have been using these ad formats anyway.


One of Google’s biggest selling points with their ad platform is that it’s easy to use, but for PPC experts, both writing text ads and optimizing landing pages have required additional learning. Luckily, now that expanded text ads are over, advertisers don’t need to take on additional responsibility or learn new skills to achieve success.

Since Google changes so frequently, businesses are forced to adapt—the company certainly won’t stop changing its platform anytime soon. But now that expanded text ads are over you can take a moment to breathe. And hey, now you might even have some extra time! Take advantage of it by adjusting your approach to account management or analyzing your AdWords performance more closely. If you need any assistance, you can go for PPC Advertising services that can provide you an expert guidance.

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