Coming soon to a Google SERP near you – Embedded Sitelinks for Google AdWords advertisers. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Google has slowly been announcing a new format of sitelinks that is integrated in your ad text called Embedded Sitelinks, and will likely soon announce it for US. I’ve seen it on Inside Adwords for BR, NL, and DE starting last week. Thanks Google Chrome for page translations.
The deal is this – if you have (or create) a sitelink that matches words in your ad copy (must match EXACTLY), you may get a link in your ad copy (description lines) to the page designated by that sitelink URL, IF you don’t already have a two-line or one-line sitelink serving for that keyword. Google says these embedded sitelinks will appear directly above search results (i.e. TOP placements, not right side), although their sample looks like a right side ad to me (?). The launch will be global, except for China, Japan, and Korea.
Here’s what it may look like for query= [ipad]. Apple has “iPad” as a sitelink, Swoopo does not. Apple also has Mac, iPhone, and iPod as sitelinks too in this sample.
Google wants you to use all 10 of the sitelinks available for each of your campaigns. They have found that shorter text works better on sitelinks than longer text, and this format fully takes advantage of that finding.
So now we have 3 types of sitelinks in Google AdWords:
These display on kws that meet the highest quality threshold, mostly on brand terms or keywords with quality scores of 10, but I’ve seen them on some of my 7s. These sitelinks show on your “money” keywords, the ones that you check first if you think something is wrong with your account and your palms start to sweat if you don’t see your own ads. Two-line sitelinks display WITH a plusbox (e.g. Product Extension or Location Extensions).
These display on top placements that do not quite meet the quality threshold of two-line sitelinks. I see them on my accounts on kws with quality scores 7 or better (some 6s), but still top placements only. Important note: One-line sitelinks DO NOT display with a plusbox.
These links will show on kws that don’t make the quality thresholds required for one- or two-line sitelinks but are still above organic listings. Not sure about the plusbox also showing. I would bet that plusboxes will also display so Google can monetize that space… but I’m guessing.
It will be interesting to see how advertisers react and use this new format. Should we now write and add sitelinks around our best ad copy in a campaign or should we consider new ad copy to take advantage of this new sitelink format? (Kind of a chicken or egg situation) Should we think about pulling some ad groups into a new campaign so we can develop more relevant sitelinks since Sitelinks are currently at the campaign level? It will also be interesting to see how these affect CTR and quality scores….I’m certain a lot of PPC blogging will be done around these topics in the next few weeks.
I’m not sure about anyone else, but it’s a full time job just to keep up with all the testing and changes Google has been making to sponsored ads, especially top placements. Between domains in headlines, desc1 in headlines, +1 annotations, Auto-preview, display URL placement, good luck analyzing any AB testing you are trying to do. Google is pretty much throwing all of your testing under the bus with all these variables that as an advertiser you can’t control. (sorry…ranting.)
I’ll be talking about this sitelink format addition and more at SMX Advanced 2011 on the Amazing PPC Tactics panel, discussing…you guessed it… Google Ad Extensions. 🙂 Find me on SMX Connect. If you there, please don’t be shy, say “hi” and introduce yourself. I would love to chat about paid search with you.