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3 Search Advertising Developments You Need to Know

search engine marketing
Oct 3, 2016

A lot has changed recently in the world of search advertising. Google and Bing – the world’s largest search engines – in addition to Apple have all introduced new updates and search marketing functionalities that radically change how advertisers can use them – for the better. Here’s what you need to know:

Google Introduces Brand New Ad Model for the First Time in 15 Years

For the last 15 years, Google’s standard ad format remained largely consistent. However, Google’s new model – Extended Text Ads – allows for longer headlines and character descriptions. The headline, originally 25 characters long, followed by two 35-character description lines, now allows for two 30-character headlines and one 80-character description.

Improvements have also been made to the URL functionality. Originally, URLs had to be entered manually, however, customizable URL paths are now automatically pulled from the desired webpage to ensure accuracy. These new ads will appear only at the top of the search results pages; sidebar ads are officially a thing of the past.

While reworking ad campaigns to take advantage of these changes will be time consuming, early indications have suggested that Extended Text Ads are yielding much higher click-through rates, especially for non-branded keywords.

Bing Introduces Expanded Text Ads

Like Google, Bing also introduced expanded text ads – ETAs for short. Previewed less than two weeks after Google announced its search ad update, Bing’s changes are very similar.

Rather than the previous 25-71 character limit, Bing expanded its word count to 60-80 characters, with two 30-character headlines. While the changes closely resemble Google’s recent update, it’s a benefit for advertisers who won’t be required to work with two very different ad formats.

Apple Offers Paid Search Ads in the App Store

For the first time – in a move long rumored to be coming – Apple is offering paid search ads in its App store, giving advertisers a new platform to reach consumers. One paid ad will appear at the top of a user’s search results and advertisers can bid for the slot in different categories. According to Apple, the ads will only display in relevant or related app searches and advertisers will be charged on a “Cost per Tap” or “Cost per Acquisition” basis.

While these changes will likely require a period of transition for advertisers to meet the new and updated formats, if we’ve learned anything from the past it’s that the digital world is constantly shifting and evolving. And if advertisers want to clearly and effectively reach their audiences, they must do so as well.

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