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Google Ad Specifications: A Breakdown

Google Ad Specifications: A Breakdown

The multiscreen world we are living in has brought a lot of changes in the Ad world. From the 25-35-35 character rule that used to grace the text Ads to the new character count 30-30-80, changes have continued to hit the paid search marketing platform. Getting to know the right practices for leveraging symbols in pay-per-click ad text, Adwords headline writing as well as maximally utilising Adwords interface such as the Google ad preview tool are crucial in realising success in this competitive industry. Additionally, you need to know the rules of the game in order to increase the odds of succeeding.

In this article, we will emphasize on the guidelines and some important rules that Google Adwords dictate.

Expanded text ads overview

Expanded text ads are similar to the text ads that you’re used to, but with a few key differences.

Expanded text ads have three headline fields. The first two headline fields are required, while the third is optional. The extra headline field allows you to include additional text in your ads. You can use up to 30 characters per headline. The headlines will appear next to each other, separated by a vertical pipe (“|”). Depending on the size of your potential customer’s screen, they may wrap to a second line. The third headline can appear more often on wide mobile devices.

Expanded text ads also have two 90-character description fields, giving you more control over your ad’s messaging.

The domain of your Display URL is now based on your Final URL domain. Google Ads will use the domain from your final URL and show it as your ad’s display URL. For example, if your final URL is, your ad’s display URL will show as

The Display URL can include two optional “Path” fields. You can combine your Display URL with up to two new optional “Path” fields. These fields are added to the Display URL after your website’s domain, so that you can add text that will help people who see your ad get a better sense of where they’ll be taken when they click it. The text that you put in the path fields doesn’t necessarily have to be part of your website’s URL, but it should be related to the content on your landing page. So if your Final URL is, you might want your path text to be “Hiking” and “Shoes”, so that your ad’s Display URL becomes

Expanded text ads are mobile-optimised. In fact, a preview of your ad in both desktop and mobile format is generated for you while you’re creating your expanded text ad.

Uploaded Display Ads Specifications

There are many ways Google offer to create display ads both uploaded and responsive display ads.

Google AdWords Ad Text Guidelines

The ad text guidelines have been discussed on the Google support centre. Though the text seems dry, the gist is in the tutorial – apparently the video content is way more digestible. The document highlights the following points:

Trademarks and Competition – The main points here are whether you can bid on a keyword that is trademarked. Yes, the document approves the use of trademarked terms, however, you cannot use the term in the ad text. Additionally, the document states that you are not allowed to use superlatives such as best and better without supporting your argument in the landing page.

No Gimmicky Text – The point here is don’t have to repeat a description exactly as it appears twice.

Grammar and Text Guidelines – It further suggests that you can use slang and abbreviations provided that you will not render the text ineligible.

AdWords Text Ad Length and AdWords Text Ad Limits

One question that new advertisers ask is on ad text length. Here are some rules that Google has when it comes text and character limit.

Ad titles need to have at most 25 characters.

The description lines, two of them, that follow are not supposed to exceed 35 characters each.

The display URL need to show only 35 characters. However, the URL can have characters more than 35, but it will be truncated when displaying the ad.

Google also states that the third line needs to fit within the character limit, no excess. This description should not by any case lead to the URL with phrases such as ‘Learn more at’ or ‘see this for more information.’

There are also rules set for languages that use double-byte characters like Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Hebrew, and Chinese. The limits are as follows: the title should have 12 characters, each line in the ad text should have 17 characters, and the display URL, 35 characters. The display URL, in this instance, need to contain only the single-byte characters.

However, there seem to be exceptions. In certain Asian and Eastern European countries, they tend allow longer text ads – in the title, the limit is 30 characters while in the ad text up to 76 characters are required. In double-byte languages the limit for the title is 15 characters while the ad text need to have at most 19 characters in each line.

It is, however, universal that if your characters do not seem to fit, then the display URL cannot be used as another field for filling in the ad text.

AdWords also mentions the rules meant to regulate extensions and specific texts, these include:

Google AdWords Phone Extensions Guidelines

· Google AdWords Location Extension Guidelines

· Google AdWords Ad Sitelinks Guidelines

You can also find guidelines around the other ad types offered by Google under their ad format and technical guidelines help documentation.

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