Google to change mobile ad format

Starting October 15th, Google will begin showing ad extensions instead of description line 2 on mobile devices. Google is doing this, “to show more relevant and useful information to your customers” in the smaller space that mobile ads occupy.

Here is what the change will look like:

Google is making this change because they believe that the versatile nature of smartphones requires a more versatile ad unit. With the increased emphasis on extensions, it will be interesting to see how this change impacts overall ad performance. Accounts that remain opted in to this change may see increased ad extension interaction and positive overall performance, so it is important that advertisers are leveraging all applicable extensions.

Since this future state of the mobile ad format will not be available until the 15th, iProspect will be testing this change to gauge how it impacts overall performance. Testing the change, and not simply remaining opted in is important because:

  • While mobile ads receive a higher percentage of clicks on extensions than desktop ads, extension clicks still account for less than 10% of total clicks in most cases.
  • Many ads currently contain a call to action within description line 2. Rewriting all ads or adding mobile-preferred ads to all AdGroups in order to move the call to action to description line 1 would be a very time consuming project with unknown benefit.
  • With description line 2 removed, the ad may not make sense.

This ad format change is as good an opportunity as any to make sure that you have a solid mobile strategy and are utilizing device customizable ad elements such as:

  • Mobile specific ad copy
  • Mobile specific sitelinks
  • Location extensions (if applicable)
  • App extensions (if applicable)
  • Callout extensions (can set mobile preference)

Mobile specific features like this format change will only continue to rollout so it will be important that advertisers understand how to use them in order to maintain a competitive advantage in the space. Stay tuned for a follow up post on how the change has impacted mobile ad performance!