Is a Bug Allowing Extended AdWords Titles?

Mar 3, 2009 • 8:24 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Over the past couple months, I have been seeing thread after thread from AdWords advertisers with complaints that their competitors are showing over the 25 character limit in the Google AdWords title of the ad.

Google says there is a max 25 character limit for the title, including spaces. But advertiser after advertiser have been posting in the forums, with complaints that advertisers are using more than that 25 character limit.

A month or so ago, I sent this information to Google asking if there was a policy change. Google told me, no, this must have been a bug of some sort. A Google spokeswoman told me, "We haven't changed our AdWords policy regarding the number of characters allowed in the title line."

So why is it still happening? I know, when I upload my SEO videos to YouTube sometimes they enforce their title word limit and sometimes they don't.

I am not sure what is wrong with Google AdWords, but something is for sure up. Maybe these are getting by through AdWords Editor, maybe through the API, maybe through the standard interface or maybe through dynamic keyword insertion - I am not sure.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and Google AdWords Help.

Update: This appears to not be a bug, I have more details at Get Longer Google AdWords Titles Through Dynamic Keyword Insertion.

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David Rothwell

03/04/2009 08:13 am

My Google Account Manager at European HQ told me they were experimenting with it. I publish more info at


03/05/2009 09:20 am

I have seen title copy with more 25 characters when dynamic insertation of keywords are being used. It appears as though it happens only when the searcher will benefit from it i.e. a keyword will be inserted in the title dependant on what the search phrase is regardles of the title displaying more than 25 characters. In the cases I have seen the title has not included more than 28 characters.

Kerstin Baker-Ash

03/27/2009 02:53 pm

"Not a bug", according to Google UK this week - they are testing it just like they were the favicons. It sounds like there are going to be some big changes coming up - do you think that's possible?

Barry Schwartz

03/27/2009 02:56 pm

Um, according to Google's PR team, it was a bug. I sent a follow up based on your blog posts. We will see what they say this time.

Barry Schwartz

04/28/2009 01:08 pm

You are right, I updated the post. Thanks for making me push Google more on this.

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