Google Expanded Text Ads: 10 Things You Need To Know

Expanded Text Ads are coming to Google AdWords. Are you excited? But more importantly, are you ready?

Expanded Text Ads were one of several huge AdWords changes Google announced Tuesday – if not the biggest. I still can't believe that Google will soon actually increase its ad text limits by 2x! 

expanded text ads in adwords

So what exactly is changing? Here are 10 things advertisers need to know about Expanded Text Ads.

UPDATE: We've created a FREE guide and cheat sheet that has everything you need to know about creating Expanded Text Ads. Get it here -->

1. What Are Expanded Text Ads?

Expanded Text Ads are 2x bigger than current text ads. The new ads are designed to maximize your presence and performance on mobile search results with a bigger headline and an extra long description. (And with a mobile-first mindset, whatever works on mobile is going to get applied to desktop too.)

Expanded Text ads will show across all devices – desktop and mobile – and will wrap automatically based on device size.

Google began testing Expanded Text ads in Q2 of 2016. 

Does your PPC account measure up to the competition? Grade it for free!

2. Why Is Google Making This Change?

Google is calling this the biggest change to text ads since AdWords launched 15 years ago.

Several months ago, Google began thinking about what an AdWords ad would look like if they created AdWords in today's mobile-first world, where more than half of the trillions of searches conducted on Google per year are done via a mobile device.

Google's first move toward creating a unified experience across devices came in February when they killed off right side ads on desktop. Now with the constraints of desktop right-side ads gone, this change seems like a natural progression from the super-sized headlines introduced in 2011.

3. How Much Bigger Are These Expanded Ads?

Expanded text ads are 2x bigger (math nerd alert: technically 47 percent bigger) from today's AdWords text ads.

You now have a total of 140 characters of ad copy space to use, marking the end of the current 25-35-35 limits. No comment from Twitter as yet about their thoughts on Google adopting a 140-character limit. Here's a little more info on the changes from the AdWords blog:

expanded text ads details

So make all those extra characters count. Create eye-catching and emotional ads that searchers can't resist clicking on.

4. What Do The New Expanded Text Ads Look Like?

Here's a before and after of what the ads will look like on mobile and desktop:

Expanded Text Ad example 

And here's what Expanded Text Ads will look like in the AdWords interface:

Expanded Text Ad example

5. How Much Are Headlines Expanding?

Advertisers will have two 30-character headlines when Expanded Text Ads become available later this year.

Advertisers currently are limited to a 25-character headline. 

That's means our headlines will soon increase by 140 percent!

6. How Much Will Descriptions Expand?

Advertisers will have one 80-character description line. 

Advertisers currently are limited to two 35-character description lines. 

That means descriptions will increase by 14 percent. 

7. What's Changing With Display URLs?

AdWords will automatically extract the domain from the final URL. 

Advertisers can then add up to two paths to enhance the display URL (using up to 15 characters).

8. Will This Improve CTR? 

Yes! More text means greater visibility. Early reports indicate that Expanded Text Ads are seeing CTR increase by as much as 20 percent. 

At WordStream, we've observed CTR increase by around 12 percent by adding ad or call extensions to mobile text ads – so we expect increasing the character counts of headlines and description should result in more clicks. (Want to take advantage of this? Get our free guide and cheat sheet on Expanded Text Ads)

Regardless, you can bet we'll be closely tracking the performance of this new ad format as it becomes more widely available.  

9.  When Will The New Ads Roll Out? (UPDATED)

At the time of publishing this post, Google had not officially revealed when all advertisers will have access to Expanded Text Ads.

As of now, Expanded Text Ads are available to all advertisers. Google has announced that it will phase out the old, standard ad format on January 31, 2017. You must transition all ads to the ETA format by that date.

10. What Should You Do To Prepare for Expanded Text Ads?

Raise your Quality Scores now! Quality Score is already the most important metric in your AdWords account, but it's about to become even more important.

Businesses that occupy the top spots will take up the most valuable SERP real estate – especially for commercial queries. It could make anything below position 2 or 3 on mobile devices irrelevant!

Here is some helpful reading on Quality Score: Hacking AdWords: Winning at AdWords the Weird Way.

Additionally, you've got a lot of ad text optimization ahead of you. You'll need to make sure your text ads are all rewritten to take advantage of this new format. Google is giving you 2x more space with Expanded Text Ads – so be ready to use it to your advantage!

Find out how you're REALLY doing in AdWords!

Watch the video below on our Free AdWords Grader:

Visit the AdWords Grader.


May 26, 2016

At first thanks...It is really new information. I got something better from this post..


Larry Kim
May 26, 2016

thanks for stopping by

Jul 07, 2016

Hey Larry, great post! DevHub supports new URL requirements for ETAs. More here:

Abdullah Hussain
May 26, 2016

Thanks, Larry. Has it been implemented for all regions? I noticed no change in text length for the United Kingdom yet.

Larry Kim
May 26, 2016

currently in beta. should be rolled out in next 3 months (approximately).

Hieronymus Franck
May 26, 2016

The article is very good and I learned many useful and interesting news until now did not know. I follow your site often and loving much. Always there are many useful things for beginners.

Michael Vittori
May 26, 2016

Thanks for this article Larry. I read in Italian Adwords official blog that these changes will roll out in July!

Brian Smith
May 26, 2016

Thanks for the info, Larry.

"By September AdWords will no longer allow 25-35-35 ads." Since this is going to be required, it will be interesting to see how large scale programs adjust (similar to the destination vs final URL change).

What are your thoughts on a busier ad section on desktop? No doubt, looks very similar to how the line breaks happen on mobile but makes me wonder if it will lead to an eventual visual overload.

Jeff Parry
May 26, 2016

This is MASSIVE... I can't believe the comments are flowing already!

This gives so much scope for ad creative. You can almost tell a story in 140 characters compared with more or less repeating your key phrase in the title, a value prop then CTA.

In a way it's moving slightly more towards traditional advertising and the importance of ad copy.

Also great potential to clarify your offer and reduce waste.

I love it! Ad copy just got a whole lot more important.

Great post Larry!

Jeff Parry
May 26, 2016

...oh yeah... just thought about those 3000 ads I've now got to rewrite :|

David Rothwell
May 27, 2016

easy peasy with AdWords Editor :-)

Jun 27, 2016

It hasn't rolled out across editor yet as far as I've seen, and we're part of the beta program.

Jun 17, 2016

That's it?

Manoj Jaiswal
May 27, 2016

At first thanks...It is really new information

David Rothwell
May 27, 2016

Thanks Larry. This will be great. It will also mean an update to AdWords Editor :-)

mark fortune
May 28, 2016

Thank you !!

Chandan Jha
May 31, 2016

Thanks for the Detailed Information about segregation of 140 Characters Ads instead 95 characters.

To see display URL can we say now it has no limitation of characters which was 35 on earlier ?

e.g. if i have a display URL of 25-30 characters, i still have expansion of 15 characters more...

Jun 02, 2016

No surprise there. Move will make the google revenue generating ads even harder to tell from a real listing to boost income even more.

Jun 02, 2016

Thanks for the information. I don't need to rewrite ads that have already ended, do I?

Jun 02, 2016


Thanks for all this informations.

I just wanted to know how freelances and agencies are going to manage this huge move. For example, in my case, I have nearly 20 000 ads to update. It's titanic work because as it was writen here, we have to rethink all the ads one after the other.

I asked Google to know if before they propose this format, it will be able to automatically adapt the old one to the new one, even if the number of letters is not the best.

Because it scared me that I will not have the time to update all the ads before the sunset of the current ad format.

I am really interesting to understand how you are to going to manage this work. I don't tell my clients this news for the moment, but I am going to be obliged to charge them for all this.

Any advices or process ?


Jun 02, 2016

Boost Media:

Oct 05, 2016

Good day! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to
get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I'm not seeing very good success.
If you know of any please share. Many thanks!

Kerry Wagoner
Jun 03, 2016

others have asked but no one has answered yet, will the current ads have to be re-written or will Google automatically change them with new format/

Ravi Shanker M
Jun 13, 2016

After writing expanded text ads in adwords editor and later uploaded to adwords online UI, which ad type it will take.

3D Floor Plan
Jun 14, 2016

Simply put: make the time. If you don’t and your competitors do, you can expect to see a drop in performance as the competition captures more of the impressions and clicks. Just as Rome wasn’t build in a day, you don’t have to do this overnight. Set a steady pace and a strategy, and you’ll be on the way to performance increases.

Jun 15, 2016

Here's a nifty tool to build your own Expanded Text Ads, with various extensions, and check preview for desktop and mobile.

Jian Leen
Jul 22, 2016

Mine doesn't have the drop down option for the Final URL, which makes my display URL always begin with WWW.
Any ideas on how to go about this?

Vimlesh Maurya
Jul 28, 2016

Now, it is available in my Ad-words account.

Aug 02, 2016

Really detailed and helpful article.

Aug 09, 2016

Thank you very much for a detailed post on this subject. The roll out of Google is amazing. I have just setup my first campaign with ETA and CTR has gone crazy. It is indeed a great advertising opportunity to cash.

A small suggestion: Don't just use all the characters, and try to fill Ad copy with catchy words rather than just filling up the word counts.

Thanks :-)

Aug 09, 2016

math is wrong

Stacy Caprio
Aug 09, 2016

Great post!

Feel free to check out this Expanded Text Ad infographic as well:

Shabana Gandhi
Aug 10, 2016

Thank you for the information! Want to ask you that can we edit the already existing 25-30-30 character format ads into expanded text ads?

Eric Steckel
Nov 07, 2016

Great question. I want to start migrating to ETA by modifying existing ads. Also, we want to keep the ad history. Is that possible?

Aug 17, 2016

Great post. Here’s another good one on how expanded text ads performed during beta. The message is basically the same… take advantage of it! Expanded Text Ads for Ecommerce

Robert Brugman
Aug 22, 2016

It sounded as a winner to me, bigger ads! But.... I manage some comparison website and tried some expanded ads (only on desktop) for 4 or 5 different sites. But for every one of them, the expanded ads produced lower CTR's. In some cases I noticed a lower average position (what is weird, as it ran in the same ad group as 2 other ads).

More people experiencing this?

Aug 30, 2016

Can you please share me the steps to "google-expanded-text-ads"

Can't find in Campaign Section.
Thanks in advance.

Asif Raza
Sep 23, 2016

Thank you for the detailed article, It sounds good that Google Adsense finally made some changes.

Sep 24, 2016

Is Headline 2 mandatory, or can it be left blank?

Sep 27, 2016

Interesting & valuable information!
But I do have one question. What should I do if I the subdomain won't fit in the path? Do I really have to shorten the subdomain? Because won't be an option & I am afraid I have to do this

Mart Shark
Oct 05, 2016

Expanded text ads are a big opportunity, but surprisingly I still get better CTRs from the old format in a lot of the campaigns I manage.

I'm a fan of the url path options though - getting some nice boosts from those :-)

Oct 11, 2016

I prefer ETA to be honest; there's more space to be even more creative with the ad copy, which is probably the main selling point with them. But, I don't like that they removed the option to have mobile-specific ETA, just like you still can with Standard ones. Don't understand why they removed that option, as we can tailor the ad copy with a mobile-specific message...

Richa Jain
Oct 14, 2016

Thanks for this informative article... as i was not aware of the ad-word update which will be coming in Jan 17.

Dec 06, 2016

We don't use Adwords. It's too expensive

Dec 10, 2016

Really like the expanded text ads update, we have seen a strong 22.01% increase in CTR in line which what Google were expecting. Will be interested to see if this stays the same when all the advertisers are using them

Dec 27, 2016


Thanks for this article. I really loved the google updates in adwords and I'm in support.

Thanks for an update.

Keep publishing awesome content :)

Thank you,

Chamnan Muon
Dec 28, 2016

This is a great article to read. Thanks for sharing!

Atiqur Sumon
Jan 20, 2017

What a wonderful characteristics here. Every each them conversion is real i believing so thank and keep it going.

Jan 25, 2017

Thanks Larry for such very useful information.

Quicken customer support,quicken tech support number
Feb 13, 2017


Really Good and helpful article.Thanks Sharing Most important Information.


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