Google AdWords Displaying Description In Title Of Ad

Feb 2, 2011 • 8:29 am | comments (8) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords
 

Over the past month or so, we have been receiving reports from searchers and advertisers that Google AdWords is showing some funky weird ads. The ads are displaying the first line's description in the same line as the title of the ad. So the title and 1st line description are the clickable link of the ad.

Pamela Parker covered this at Search Engine Land, but I am still getting reports of this, so I figured I'd cover it.

Here is a screen shot from one of our readers:

AdWords Title & Description Line One

The part that reads "Find accounting jobs on Workopolis is the first line description, but here it is being put in the title of the ad. This is happening fairly often.

I am not sure if this is a test or a bug but it is happening every now and then. One advertiser says it is not a bug.

One advertiser posted a thread about this at WebmasterWorld. He said:

The titles are getting longer (up to 30 characters, dynamic insertion explains this) but they are also showing the 1st line of the description on the same line as the title. This is making the title about the same length as the organic titles and they are blending in a lot more. (since the domains were all made lower case as well)

This is happening for a few of my clients but not all and it's not happening on all users pc's in the office so I believe there are a few users here on a selective testing list.

If I knew my ads were not being displayed as shown to me within the ad preview window within the AdWords console, I'd be upset. Wouldn't you? Or would you prefer a really long title?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

Update: Many are pointing out that this is a test and not a bug. One commented with a statement from their Google account rep:

We are changing the placement of description line 1 for certain ads that appear in the top positions above the search results on Google. With the change, any description line 1 that ends in punctuation will be moved to the headline and separated by a dash.

Following tests, we believe that it improves both the user experience and advertiser performance, as it allows users to view relevant information from advertisers more quickly and easily.

All advertisers whose ads appear in the top positions on Google and have a description line 1 that ends in punctuation are/will be affected.

It applies to cases in which description line 1 ends in a period, exclamation point, question mark, or has country-specific punctuation.

Update: This is now official, see the AdWords Blog.

Previous story: Known Issue: Blank Google My Map Results
 

Comments:

Mark Oliver

02/02/2011 01:48 pm

I noticed this around a week ago (Google.co.uk) and contacted our Account Manager at Google who responded: 'We are changing the placement of description line 1 for certain ads that appear in the top positions above the search results on Google. With the change, any description line 1 that ends in punctuation will be moved to the headline and separated by a dash. Following tests, we believe that it improves both the user experience and advertiser performance, as it allows users to view relevant information from advertisers more quickly and easily. All advertisers whose ads appear in the top positions on Google and have a description line 1 that ends in punctuation are/will be affected. It applies to cases in which description line 1 ends in a period, exclamation point, question mark, or has country-specific punctuation.'

Eduard Blacquière

02/02/2011 02:15 pm

I've spotted this as well in the last few weeks (google.nl). Here's the screenshot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eduardblacquiere/5393005521/lightbox/ And Google sent out an email to inform (a selected group of) advertisers that this change will be rolled out in the coming weeks: "In the next weeks we are going to be making a change to some top ads. We are changing the placement of description line 1 for certain ads that appear in the top positions above the search results on Google. With the change, any description line 1 that ends in punctuation will be moved to the headline and separated by a dash."

LisaS

02/02/2011 05:21 pm

I got notice of this from my Google rep on Friday. Interesting that you can now have an exclamation point in the headline, when you never could before. In ad reports, you'll also note that the column doesn't say "Headline any more, it says "Ad"... Started seeing my ads in this format last night 8pm PDT. CTRs definitely appears to be higher. Why are you doing this? We believe that it improves both the user experience and advertiser performance, as it allows users to view relevant information from advertisers more quickly and easily. Who is affected? All advertisers whose ads appear in the top positions on Google and have a description line 1 that ends in punctuation are affected. Can I opt out? No, this change applies to all advertisers, and there is no way to opt out at this time. Does this affect only top placement ads? Yes, this change applies to only ads that appear in the top positions on Google. Ads that appear on the side of the page on Google will remain the same. Does this affect only ads on Google? Yes, this change applies to only ads on Google. Ads that appear on our partners’ sites vary in format. Which Google domains are affected? This is a global launch that affects all Google domains. What part of the ad does this affect? It directly affects description line 1, if it ends in punctuation and appears as a sentence. It indirectly affects the headline and description line 2, since instead of combining description line 1 with description line 2, it combines description line 1 with the headline for top placement ads. To what types of punctuation does this apply? It applies to cases in which description line 1 ends in a period, exclamation point, question mark, or has country-specific punctuation. Do I need to change my ads? No, you do not need to take any action. Any description line 1 that ends in punctuation will automatically be moved to the headline when your ads are served in the top positions on Google. What should I do if I want description line 1 to be moved to the headline? You can edit your ads so that description line 1 looks like a sentence. This product works best when the creative reads as three separate sentences with proper punctuation, and this is the best way to get MegaTitle. However, please note that the change will only apply when your ad appears in the top positions on Google. What should I do if I don’t want description line 1 to be moved to the headline? You can edit your ads so that description line 1 does not end in punctuation. Does this mean that I should use description line 1 as a continuation of the headline? We would not recommend writing your ad so that the headline continues onto description line 1. Remember, even when the headline and description line 1 are combined, they are separated by a dash. Moreover, description line 1 is moved to the headline only when your ad appears in the top positions on Google; thus, when your ad appears elsewhere, it may not be shown in the way that you intended.

Everfluxx

02/02/2011 06:29 pm

Hi all, a new ad variant was spotted today in Italy, showing the display URL between title and description! Check it out: http://twitpic.com/3vpi8g

Mark Oliver

02/03/2011 09:56 am

Note in the accounting jobs example how much the ad looks like the first natural result. Could this be the motivation behind the change?

Andy

02/05/2011 03:56 am

Come one guys. Google wants a better bottom line. Confusing people who might take these ads for organic results is a great way to grap spontaneous buyers and more money for google and advertisers. Great idea. After all google controls its own site and does what it wants to do. What stinks is that they don't come out and say: guys we want to make more money. Why cover this greed with "better user experience" fluff?!

Peter Samuel

02/09/2011 11:04 am

Google had already notified their high-budget advertisers regarding this feature well in advance. I got the mail from my adwords rep on 20th January. Basically, this feature works when you have any punctuation marks at the end of the titles and the ad qualifies for the premium positions... :-)

Rugbybowens

05/20/2011 11:03 am

Think about this: If Google sent out a memo..."How to be the Best you Can Be..." Wouldn't we all be amazing at our jobs! Anyway... without that, here is me trying to figure out from the boys who started in a garage... http://jehannebowen.blogspot.com/2011/05/google-adwords-title-change.html

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