In October Google made a subtle but very important change to their Ad Rank algorithm. This update has a massive impact on anyone utilizing Google AdWords and it is important you understand what it means and how you can take advantage.
What was the change?
Prior to this update Ad Rank was based on two factors – your max CPC bid and your Quality Score. Now there is an additional variable – ad extensions.
In addition to this new component, Google has also added more weight to format and extension use – from their blog post on the change:
Ad extensions and formats can now influence the position of your ad on the search results page. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.
What does this mean for me?
Don’t fear – this is a great opportunity for marketers to freshen copy and experiment with features they may not have tested before. Below is an overview of available Google AdWords Ad Extensions and how to use them. Make sure to take full advantage of these features and routinely check performance and most importantly – test, test, test, test!
These are additional text and links underneath your standard text ad in the SERP. These allow advertisers to link to other relevant pages on their site and can be added at either the campaign or ad group level.
This extension display all the +1’s from your site, ads, search, and Google+ page. The purpose of this is to act as an endorsement or recommendation of sorts for your site and content. Google contends these can increase your CTR 5% to 10%, which is very significant.
These are used to promote an app or even link a user inside a section inside of your app to complete an action. These are targeted to smartphone users and can direct users to either the Google Play or iTunes app stores.
These extensions provide a phone number to searchers that you can directly load into your AdWords account or Google can generate a number for you that will redirect to your preferred line. These work for both Desktop and Mobile search queries. These extensions can be scheduled to coincide with the hours you offer phone support for your business or service.
These are very important to properly utilize for business or services with a physical address/presence. Advertisers are able to include the address, phone number their business.
These are relatively new and have just been released to the general public from beta in the last few months. These allow an advertiser to display a snippet of a review or endorsement from a reputable 3rd party site.
Seller Rating Extensions
This is an extension that displays your star rating from review sites around the web directly into your text ad. This provides credibility and piece of mind for users and requires no set up for the advertiser. You only need to have four or more stars and at least 30 reviews in Google Product Search.