AdWords Does A Double-Take?

March 22, 2012

While we’re all accustomed to seeing new ad format testing on Google, yesterday a Campaign Manager on our Search Services team discovered the ad below.

Dynamic Search Ad blog post

For those of you not in love with counting characters, there are most definitely 50 characters in the headline. If you’re doing the math at home, you know that’s double the number of characters allowed in a headline. Additionally, this isn’t a “longer headline ad” as you’ll see the full Description Line 1 and Description Line 2 showing below the URL.

So, what gives?  Did Google’s headline counter break? Nope, this is a Dynamic Search Ad, currently in beta.  The headline is pulling the product title from the company’s website. These ads allow Google to fill in gaps in keyword coverage in your account for you. The Google crawler goes through your website and then matches on relevant queries not included in your account. Dynamic Search Ads generate a dynamic ad title, apparently with much longer character limits.

Unlike ChannelAdvisor’s Inventory Driven Search, DSAs will fill in head and torso terms as well as product level keyword coverage.  We’ve seen mixed results so far, essentially depending on how extensive the gaps in keyword coverage are. Sites with high inventory changes would probably benefit significantly more than lead generation, for example. In addition, we recommend setting aside a good bit of time initially to fill in negative keywords where the matches aren’t perfect. Lastly, be sure you understand the somewhat advanced features provided by Google to optimise these ads. For example, you can use negative keywords to restrict searches but also exclude sections of your website from the crawlers.

Look for Dynamic Search Ads coming out of beta in the future.  If you’re interested in testing these out contact your Google team to see if your account would qualify!

For more information on ChannelAdvisor’s PPC management software, please visit

Blog post by Jackie Jenkins, Global Manager, Search Services