Google to Remove the Second Line of Ad Copy From Mobile Search Ads In Favour of Extensions

by Bryan Mitchell on Monday 29 September 2014

As mobile devices continue to grow in both physical size and popularity, Google has been hard at work making changes to mobile ads in an effort to drive engagement. Google has stated in the past that ads utilizing ad extensions see improved click through rates. In line with this belief, it has recently announced that description lines across mobile ads will be sacrificed in an effort to show more ad extensions.


Beginning on October 15, Google will be partially eliminating the second line of text across mobile ads in exchange for either a callout extension, location extension or sitelinks. Below is an example of what the proposed change might look like.



AdWords product manager, Senthil Hariramasamy, defended the change stating, “By eliminating the second line of ad text, we give businesses another point of engagement with customers in their ads — in this case, it’s the additional location extension.” With the mobile landscape changing every quarter, it is important for the advertiser to consider how these changes will affect overall performance as well as how their ads are viewed by potential consumers.


Forward3D Insight


With so many users performing daily searches on their mobile devices, it becomes increasingly more important to tailor creative for an optimal user experience. Mobile ads have always been fairly limited compared to those displayed across desktop & tablets, as the amount of space is clearly limited. Using the same creative across multiple devices could now lead to a noticeable drop in performance as the mobile experience will clearly suffer.

In order to adjust to the changes made by Google, it is even more important to create mobile-specific ads that have a complete/distinct sentence in line 1. By doing so, the ad will be eligible to show as an extended headline, which makes for a much stronger and relevant call to action for the user. Also, with extensions becoming more prominent across mobile devices, it is important to also create mobile specific sitelinks, which use a character limitation of 15 as oppose to 35. This will ensure that none of the sitelink text is being cut off.

With the change occurring in the middle of October, advertisers have time to ensure that their ads are optimized for the new mobile experience. It will be interesting to see how the removal of description line 2 actually impacts on the user experience of mobile users. If mobile ads are not properly optimized for example, the creative may be viewed as incomplete or confusing, which would likely lead to a drop off in performance. It will be important for advertisers to measure the ramifications that these changes have on overall account performance and whether CTR really increases with the large scale inclusion of ad extensions as Google claims.