Google AdWords Titles With Exclamation Marks

Feb 7, 2011 • 8:35 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Starting last week, Google AdWords began promoting the first line description to the ad title of some of the ads. That means, sometimes an ad will have a really long blue link and a single line description.

Google said this "results in higher clickthrough rates for ads that are shown with the longer headline, as well as other top ads that appear beside them."

However, there are some unforeseen consequences of the change. Google does not allow exclamation points in the AdWords titles. But they do allow it in the ad descriptions. By dynamically moving up the first line description, Google is essentially allowing advertisers to break their guidelines and show these exclamation points.

Here is a picture of an example of one advertiser unknowingly breaking the AdWords guidelines:

exclamation points adwords

So for now, as an advertiser, capitalize on this while you can.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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Toni Voutilainen

02/07/2011 01:43 pm

Good point. I doubt the exclamation mark by itself is going to make a great change in ad performance, but for now it'll be good to be able to stand out from the competition.


02/07/2011 01:50 pm

Interesting - I wonder how long that will last. It does stand out.

Pablo Almeida

02/07/2011 02:00 pm

Title = Title + Line 1 OR Line 2. Therefore, the emphasis of exclamation. :)

Dan Perach

02/07/2011 02:26 pm

cool, love it

Brian Cox

02/07/2011 09:16 pm

when i saw these examples, the punctuation at the end of my first line, was missing on Google SERPs... it appeared they automatically removed it

William Vicary

02/08/2011 12:59 am

Things as simple as a exclamation mark can make a significant difference, check out the arrow trick from Shoemoney ( I've tried this on a number of campaigns we create and it can make a significant difference (if your queries are relatively short at least)


02/11/2011 09:45 pm

I think the bigger impact is the extension of the titles in general. These extended titles will make the listings stand out more and just raise the CTR of paid search across the board.

SEO Simon

02/14/2011 03:56 pm

I suppose they are trying to make ads 'feel' like an organic result, in a bid to increase the CTR for adwords and yet more money in the Google coffers......

Toni Voutilainen

02/18/2011 01:17 pm

While I won't argue that often times seemingly small changes have a great impact on ad performance*, I would argue that using DKI is a small thing that can be likened to using an exlamation mark. :) *I recently did the following ad A/B test with display URLs for a client. XYZ Verkkokauppa Huokeat hinnat, kotiinkuljetus 0 €. Osta XYZ halvemmalla! XYZ Verkkokauppa Huokeat hinnat. Kotiinkuljetus 0 €. Osta XYZ halvemmalla! Unfortunately I messed the desc line 1 a bit, since they’re not 100 % the same. But the main difference of course is the display URL. “Verkkokauppa” is a generic word for “webstore” but it’s also a very known brand of one on-line and off-line consumer electronics store - also a competitor of our client. ;) Both ads got ~ 23 000 impressions. Ad # 1 CTR: 2,19 % Ad # 2 CTR: 21,68 % I think that's pretty interesting.


05/20/2011 10:56 am

It's a never ending change for Google. Is this because of the Farmers Update, or the JCP fiasco? I don't know - but I am trying to gather my thoughts here (and please please comment if I am off the mark - I just want to understand!!!)


04/12/2012 10:11 pm

Google AdWords doesn't allow ad text that uses gimmicky or unnecessary punctuation or symbols, like the following: Exclamation mark in the ad titleMore than one exclamation mark in the ad text (in that ad ad line 1 is  Google determined that your first description line is clearly a complete phrase or sentence, and add part of your description to your headline, creating a longer, more noticeable headline)Repeated punctuation or symbolsSymbols, numbers, and letters that don't adhere to their true meaningBullet points

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