Google’s Expanded Text Ads Make Paid Search Advertising More Customizable and Interesting

Another month, another ad format update from Google.


First, a quick jog down digital memory lane. You may remember back in February the announcement that Google was removing paid search ads on the “right rail” or right side of the screen. To check out the new look, google any car manufacturer, for example, and see where the ads on the search engine results pages (SERPs) now solely exist. Why they did this is a topic for another article entirely. But one of the effects of a “no right rail” SERP layout is more room for paid search text where the ads now only live, above the organic search results.


Fast forward to April 2016 and Google begins testing Expanded Text Ads. As its name suggests, these are paid search ads given more room for copy in the headline and in the url. The maximum character length of 70 in the description copy remains the same. Simple enough, but it’s good news for advertisers looking to differentiate their brand with qualifying content.


It’s also good news because like Dealer Automotive Ads, Expanded Text Ads have experienced a significant jump in click-through rates (CTR). Additionally, this change allows for much more customization on the dealership end, increasing potential shopper engagement. Let’s break it down.





Expanded Text Ads comprise almost 50 percent more ad copy, allowing for a more prominent headline and extra room to highlight your inventory and specials. This larger ad unit takes up more space above the fold than ever before, on both mobile and desktop. On mobile, being in the top position is going to be much more lucrative given the 20 percent CTR boost that Google has seen.


The new path fields allow you to create customized URLs. Enticing customer to click on links like is a strategy to differentiate your ads from the competition.


Here are the new copy specs for Expanded Text Ads:

  • Headline 1: 30 characters
  • Headline 2: 30 characters
  • Description Line: 80 characters total
  • Display URL field: removed, now auto extracts domain from final URL
  • Path fields: up to 2 fields, 15 characters each.


If you’re a Advertising client, we will automatically enhance your campaigns with the new headline Expanded Text Ads for you. If you have desired URL paths, talk to your Digital Advisor or Analyst and we can work with you to promote strategic specials or vehicles that you want to push.


The key takeaway? Google paid search ads just got a little more interesting and customizable.


Here’s hoping more text means more engagement with your shoppers.


Annie Ode is the advertising product marketing manager at