Two AdWords updates that will revolutionize SEA in 2016

Google is involved in trillions of searches every year. According to them, more than half of the searches happen on mobile devices. Google recently published an aritcle in which they confirmed their expansion towards mobile advertising. In this blog post, I decided to focus on two main changes that will directly impact every search engine advertiser.


Expanded text ads

The structure of text ads will be modified with new character limits. It allows two things :

  • Desktop ads will look more like organic results.
  • More predominant ads on mobile devices.

The table below shows the evolution of the character limits.



The expanded text ads beta is already available for some companies. This is the case in the company I work for. I will try to share my first impressions and some notes.

expended text ads

Screenshot of the new fields.

Notes :

  • Display URL path is composed by two 15 characters strings with a slash in the middle.
  • In Display URL, special characters are authorized but not period, colon, exclamation point and question mark.
  • Display URL will only take the domain right before the .com

expended text ads example

 In the example above, the display URL has been extracted from the final URL

Direct impacts for advertisers :

  • A second headline and additional space in the ad copies means more test to be made in order to find the best performing ads.
  • It will be easier to insert keywords in the ad copies, that should increase the ad relevance, so the overall quality score. This last point still need to be measured to be proven.

Biding by device type

Until now, AdWords allowed marketers to set a bid adjustment for mobile devices. As a result, marketers were unable to create mobile only campaigns. In addition, marketers were unable to differentiate desktop and tablet traffic as they were grouped together. (Still, it was possible to measure performances separately, as results can be segmented by device type).

Bing allows a bid adjustment for mobile and for tablet (see below). But still it is not possible to run tablet only campaigns or mobile only campaigns.

bing - device bid adjustment

For now, Adwords has less flexibility than Bing, but with the new updates coming Adwords will allow marketers to manage the bids of the three device types separately.

I’m curious to see if Adwords will indeed offer this possibility as they claim or if they will just align with Bing.

Direct impacts for advertisers :

  • It seams predictable that advertisers shall separate their campaigns by device type, which would mean duplicated campaigns and more maintenance to do.
  • Biding algorithm shall be simplified as performance per device can be measured separately.

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