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Single Description Lines Spotted in Desktop Search3 min read

3 min read

[vc_row][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][text_output]It’s not commonplace by any means, but this week we have spotted a change to desktop PPC ad formats in Google AdWords that we have not seen before… single description lines.


The above ads were spotted ‘in the wild’ earlier this week, populating the right-hand column of ads.[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]What we can see:[/custom_headline][text_output]

  • The description lines are concatenated into a single line.
  • The character count varies between 38 & 40 characters in the description line before cut off.
  • Despite all of these examples having punctuation at the end of what would traditionally be the 1st description line, Google has not chosen this as a natural break point. Instead the ads run straight into the 2nd description line, even if this means words or sentences are cut off part-way through.

[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]What we know:[/custom_headline][text_output]Google announced through the Inside AdWords blog that the 2nd description line in Mobile could be cut off in favour of ad extensions as of 15th October 2014, giving the below example.  Note how the ‘after’ example looks very similar to our screenshot above:



The recommendations given by Google at the time were:

  • Ensure that your most important information is in the first line of ad text (description line 1) to address customer needs right away.
  • Enable all relevant extensions to help consumers find information faster and increase click through rates (CTR).

[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]What we can expect:[/custom_headline][text_output]With the ad formats very similar, it is reasonable to assume that Google are trialling sacrificing the 2nd description line to allow for more ad extensions to show in the right-hand column of desktop results.

This is reinforced by the fact that in our example, the second ad has a Seller Rating extension showing.[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]What we recommend:[/custom_headline][text_output]Right now, we would reiterate Google’s recommendations:

  • Make sure your key messages (USPs, Call-to-actions, etc.) are in Description Line 1.This is highlighted by our example above.  Notice how the ‘Free Delivery’ and ‘Free Shipping’ USPs are being cut off?  The bottom three ads choose to reiterate that they stock the Brand in their 1st description line (which they’ve already established in the Headline), but miss out on the showing the ‘Free Delivery’ hook.
  • Make sure your Description Line 1 is a complete sentence and doesn’t run into Description Line 2 – otherwise the ads really won’t scan well at all.
  • Ensure all relevant Ad Extensions are enabled (Sitelinks, Location, Call Extensions etc.), otherwise you risk losing impact and space on the page to your competitors.

[/text_output][custom_headline type=”left” level=”h1″ looks_like=”h1″]Conclusion[/custom_headline][text_output]We haven’t seen these ad formats since, which suggests Google is running a limited trial at the moment.  Presumably, the result of this will determine whether this becomes common place.

However, whatever the outcome, some simple creative best practices (which hold true even if these formats don’t eventually roll out) will ensure you always maximise the impact of your ads.[/text_output][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/4″][visibility type=”hidden-desktop”][gap size=”20px”][/visibility][vc_widget_sidebar sidebar_id=”ups-sidebar-2″][/vc_column][/vc_row]