In recent months, Google has been rolling out automated extensions.
According to Google, “automated extensions can give you more robust ads and more chances to win new customers. When an automated extension is predicted to improve your ad’s performance, Google Ads automatically creates and shows it below your ad.”
Essentially, automated extensions augment your ad by pulling information directly from your site and adding them to your ad creative. Sometimes this automation can be good and improve your click-through rate (CTR). But, care needs to be taken in order to make sure your Google Ads maintain the message you want to share with your target audience.
One of the newest changes I’ve noticed is the automated longer headline 1 (H1).
When expanded text ads were initially rolled out, I knew that the H3 would sometimes be replaced by the website domain URL. But, I thought this was as far as Google could go to change things.
However, in a few recent brand campaigns, I noticed Google was showing the website URL in the H1 spot, then shifting the H1 & H2 over one position. Google may think this is a good idea, but from a readability standpoint it is really messy and wasteful.
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If we knew Google was going to insert the URL into the automated long headline, we could have optimized our H2 spot and added something more to the ad copy. But ultimately, I’d like to have control over the early headlines since they are the first spots people look when a search engine results page comes up.
Luckily, we still have the ability to opt out of this automation process. Although, Google did a decent job trying to hide this.
Instead of the automation appearing in the settings for ads, it is hidden in the extensions setting under the “more” button.
To get rid of the automated PPC ad headlines, first go to the extensions section and click on “automated extensions.” After that, click the three dots on the right to get to the “advanced options” section.
Here, you can opt out of different automated extensions and the one we care about “longer ad headlines.”
In this section, you can opt out of other automated extensions that you might not have realized were serving alongside your ads. For total control of your ad language and ad text, you would need to opt out of all of these, but you might find some of the automation to be helpful.
The nice thing is that in the automated extensions section, you can see metrics on how they are performing in your situation.
It feels like the Google Ads (formerly Google Adwords) platform is always rolling out new product updates. But more and more, these updates contain automated, machine learning (ML) features. Unfortunately for PPC campaign managers, Google seems to be publishing changes without sufficient announcement more and more frequently.
I wish we’d receive more of a heads up so that we can make informed decisions for our clients.
The automation intends to reduce the amount of work necessary to achieve results. However, automation is not always as nuanced as a pay-per-click account manager. Catching the automated changes before they negatively impact a campaign is key, so keep up with every nook and cranny of the UI in order to keep yourself from being surprised.