Google Ad Serving – What You Didn’t Know

By October 21, 2010 Paid Media No Comments

Most of us in PPC spend a good chunk of time writing ad copy. We all know it can be frustrating to get the text in the “description lines” to meet the 35 character requirements of AdWords Editor. Many of us like to complete a sentence with a value proposition on the first line and a call-to-action on the second line. But once we post the ads, how many of us actually look to see how they are being displayed on Google? Well, it is time to start! 

Google Instant has changed the way our PPC ads are displayed on the right hand side of the page, at least for the time being. Google has reduced the pixel size on this area of the page temporarily, which means there is a narrower space to work with. Therefore, they are testing different ways of displaying the ads by wrapping the lines of text to squeeze all the words in the limited amount of space. When you change the size of your browser you will sometimes notice the appearance of the ads change as well. Take a look at these examples. One ad has 43 characters on a single line, while another wraps to 3 lines in total! 

Google claims they are trying to deliver the best result to the user using as limited space as possible. I take exception to this! 

My personal opinion is that this is counter-productive. After all our time and effort to get the “description lines” just right, the user is not always getting this optimal ad served to them, which I feel detracts from their overall experience. Do you agree? 

In the past there had been some appeal of removing the punctuation (most likely a period) at the line break to save time in preparing the ad. However,  given the ad line lengths can now change, we must include punctuation wherever is appropriate in order to make our ads look professional at all times no matter how they are displayed. 

In conclusion, just beware of Google’s constant changes, and remember to monitor how your ad is displayed. 

Top image courtesy of

About Ben Goldman

Ben Goldman is a Senior Online Advertising Specialist for Fathom's Healthcare Team. He specializes in paid search and display. Ben oversees the day-to-day management of his accounts, proactively coming up with new strategies. Ben is passionate about exceeding client goals. He really cares about his clients and will do whatever it takes to solve their problems. In his spare time, Ben enjoys spending time with family and playing sports.

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