Major updates in Google AdWords: Expanded Text Ads and Bidding by device | Articles

A few days ago, Google officially announced major and exciting upcoming upgrades to Google AdWords. You certainly remember that, earlier this year, Google already made a major change to the way it displays ads by removing text ads on the right hand side of the search result pages. Today, Google is announcing even bigger changes, certainly the biggest changes since the launch of AdWords over 15 year ago.

Expanded Text Ads

Since AdWords was launched (in the early 00’s), the ad text format didn’t change much. Until today…

Google decided to provide marketers with longer, and more visible ad texts, also known as Expanded Text Ads (ETA). As of now, not one, but two headlines will be provided. On top of this, the maximum number of characters in the headline will increase from 25 to 30. The two description lines that were previously used, will be reduced to a single description line (which will ease the life of marketers, qua ads creation). To compensate the loss of a description line, the limit for characters in these lines will increase from 2x35 to 80 characters.


Some early testers saw an increase in clickthrough rates of up to 20% compared to classical text ads. The beta is not yet open in Belgium, but be sure that we will test it as soon as possible at Semetis and let you know about the main results.

Separate bidding by device

At the same time, Google announced another important news for advertisers. As most of us know, traffic on mobile devices has been booming over the last years and months. According to, the proportion of traffic on mobile devices (smartphones) reached a new peak in April 2016, now accounting for more than 33% of traffic in Belgium.

Due to the growing importance of mobile, Google will enable advertisers to set individual bid adjustments for the different device categories (desktop, tablet and mobile). Advertisers will therefore have more flexibility and control over mobile bids. In the coming months, you will therefore be able to base your keywords bids on the device that has the most value for you and your business (ie: mobile) and set bid adjustments for other devices (ie: tablet & desktop). The bid adjustments will range from -100% (when you opt-out) to +900%. This change will be normally be released in Q3 in Belgium.

Next to that, Google also announced an interface revamp, search ads on Google Maps, the possibility to promote mobile apps on iOS and responsive design for display ads.

Overall, we can see that Search Advertising is gaining more and more importance for advertisers on Google. Both in terms of visibility and flexibility. With all these changes Search Advertising will definitely keep on playing a major role in your media mix.

Stay tuned for more updates and news.

Author: Jennifer Hubert


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