Google AdWords Expanded Text Ads: What Are They?

The biggest update to Google’s AdWords ads in 15 years will be fully implemented by October 26, 2016. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) text ads, those that show up before organic search results, are getting longer. This means marketers can include more information, enticing those searching to click on their ad.

Mobile use was the pivotal push for the change. The new longer headlines look better on smartphones, influencing more click through rates. Early reports are showing click-through-rate (CTR) increases by 20 percent!

The change will be effective across all devices and desktops and will wrap to fit the size of the device.

Total character count jumps from 95 to 140 with expanded ads. This increases real estate for more copy, and marketers should use it to their advantage.

Old Ads

  • Headline is one line and 25 characters.
  • Descriptions are two lines and each is 35 characters, for a total of 70 description characters.


New Expanded Ads

  • Headlines are two lines, each 30 characters, for a total of 60 headline characters.
  • Descriptions are one line of 80 characters.



  • AdWords will automatically pull your website domain name and use it as the title for the link.  For example, if your ad linked to the URL:   The URL under the ad will automatically default to:
  • You have the option to add up to 15 characters in “Path” fields which could more specifically describe the info on your site. For example, you can make the display URL:    Or, more detailed within 15 characters:


Take Note:

  • Put the most important words in your headline at the beginning. Some headline characters could be truncated (see: “cut off”) if letters used are spatially too wide. An “m” takes up more space than an “i”. So, although two rows of headlines give you 60 characters, some of those characters may not be visible.
  • Expanded ads will be fully implemented by October 26, 2016. Be sure all PPC ads running after this date fit the expanded format.
  • Use a word and character count tool to help you edit your ads to include the most important keywords in limited space. We use this free tool:


Expanded ads offer more opportunities to compel your audience to action.

More information up-front will lead to more intentional clicks from people who are looking for what you have to offer. That also means you’ll save money on the clicks you don’t get from people who aren’t looking for your offer by weeding out unqualified leads.

The end result should mean higher CTRs from your target audience.

Have questions about expanded text ads?

Get in touch!