Google made some earthshaking announcements recently, but the ones that got me the most excited were related to AdWords. Google indicates that over half of the searches now happen on mobile, so the only logical thing would be to “re-imagine” AdWords for the mobile-first world. Before the end of this year, Google is going to expand the character limit for AdWords and call them expanded text ads.

So, what are the new ad limits? See the table below:

Upgraded ad componentsCurrent2016 changes
More prominent headlinesOne 25-character headlineTwo 30-character headlines
Longer description lineTwo 35-character description linesOne consolidated 80-character description line
Relevant display URLManually entered display URL. Any mismatch between your display, final and landing page URLs will cause your ad to be disapproved.Domain automatically extracted from your final URL to ensure accuracy. You can customize the URL path.

Source: Google

As you can see, you’ll soon have two headlines each with 30 characters and one solid 80-character description instead of two 35-character blurbs. Testing shows that the new ad format can improve CTRs by up to 20% on mobile devices.

Additionally, you’ll also be able to to set a base bid for a specific device (e.g. phone, tablet or desktop), then adjust that bid within a range of -100% to +900% (up from the previous 300%).

What does this mean for AdWords Advertisers?

We have our work cut out for us, writing new ads to start with – but an increase in CTR should lead to a higher Quality Score, and therefore decreased costs per click.

Hopefully competitors will not be as quick to update their ads, giving the rest of us a headstart. 🙂

Want to make sure that you get a good return on your investment of time and money? Make sure that your site delivers an excellent user experience on mobile as well as desktop – if not, reduce your mobile bids so you are not spending money on things that don’t convert!


Update August 8, 2016:

Expanded Adwords text ads went live on July 26, 2016 and the existing ad formats will not be available as of October 26. Now is the time to start testing your new, longer ad formats!