Google AdWords Allows 30 Characters in Ad Titles Using Dynamic Keyword Insertion

EDIT – I just recounted the characters and it is indeed 30 characters instead of the 31 I initially claimed. However, it’s still 5 more characters than Google will admit to allowing!

This is another follow up of my original post “How to Exceed the 25-Character Limit for Titles in Google AdWords” and the first follow up post “UPDATE: Google Responds to My Inquiry About AdWords Ads with Titles Longer Than the 25-Character Limit.”  After emailing the official AdWords support team and providing them with the screenshot below clearly showing four examples of ads with 30-character titles for a single search query, they are still playing dumb and not providing any reasonable answers.

Here’s their most recent response:

Thank you for reporting an ad that possibly violates one of our policies. Please know that ads in our program are reviewed per our advertising guidelines. While we make every effort to ensure that ads which may violate our policies do not run prior to review, it’s possible that some ads run on Google before our AdWords Specialists check them.

We assure you that we are working diligently to apply the same criteria to all of our ads. We will investigate this matter and, will take the appropriate action.

Thank you for informing us of your concern, and we appreciate your understanding.

This has nothing to do with “ads possibly violating one of the AdWords policies”, but rather Google violating its own strict guidelines of a maximum of 25-character titles. The official Google AdWords Help site (http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=6095) specifically states that a maximum of 25 characters are allowed for Ad Titles:

Ads can contain, including spaces, 25 characters for the title, 70 characters for the ad text, and 35 characters for a display URL.

Another page on the official Google AdWords Help site about using dynamic keyword insertion (http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=74996) specifically states that if the keyword searched would cause a title longer than 25 characters, the default text would be used:

“In the following example of an incorrect use of the default text, the keyword motorola silver razor could cause a title longer than 25 characters, so the default text is used instead.”

Simply put, this is no longer true, regardless of whether Google will admit it or not.  Google will display AdWords ads with dynamic keyword insertion titles longer than 25 characters and up to 30 characters.  I  have absolutely no problem with the fact that Google is displaying ads with longer titles to match the keywords queried to boost relevancy for the searcher, advertiser and Google, but I definitely have a problem with Google not being completely transparent about these practices.

Here are my questions I would like Google to answer for me:

1. Can you confirm that Google is displaying AdWords ads with titles longer than 25 characters? If so, why is this the case? When are you going to change your official guidelines?

2. How long has Google been displaying ad titles longer than 25 characters?

3. What is the criteria for displaying these longer ad titles? It obviously applies to Dynamic Keyword Insertion and bidding on the exact keywords, but I’ve noticed some of my competitors’ ads titles matching the exact keywords I am bidding on while my ad title reverts to the default. What gives?

UPDATE: Google Responds to My Inquiry About AdWords Ads with Titles Longer Than the 25-Character Limit

I have tried contacting the official Google AdWords blog and other online marketing blogs regarding my questions about Google AdWords Titles Exceeding the 25-Character Limit but to no avail. I emailed the Google AdWords support team and I finally got a response this morning. As you can see, they confirm that some ad titles do exceed the 25-character limits. However, their response is quite vague and I will follow up with them to see if they will provide any additional details. Here is their response:

“Thank you for your patience. Please note that you may occasionally notice an ad that exceeds our character limits (typically, 25 characters in the title and 35 characters in each ensuing line). This sometimes happens with ads that use keyword insertion.

When a keyword-insertion ad appears on a search result page, the AdWords system inserts the keyword that triggered the ad into the ad text. If the keyword is too long, and would cause the ad text to exceed our character limits, the ad’s default text would be used instead.

In rare cases, the system may insert a keyword that causes the ad to exceed the character limit by one or two characters. There’s no guaranteed way to exceed the character limit, so we don’t recommend that you tailor your ad text to attempt this. It would likely make keyword insertion less effective for you, since the AdWords system will almost always use your default text in place of a too-long keyword.

For more information on the topics discussed above, visit these entries in our help center:

– Ad character limits:
http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6095&hl=en_US
– Keyword insertion:
http://adwords.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=74992&hl=en_US

If you have additional questions, please feel free to write me back.

Alternatively, you may want to visit our Help Center at
https://adwords.google.com/support to find answers to many frequently asked questions. Or, try our Learning Center at
http://www.google.com/adwords/learningcenter/ for self-paced lessons that cover the scope of AdWords.

We look forward to providing you and your clients with the most effective advertising available.”

How to Exceed the 25-Character Limit for Titles in Google AdWords

I was doing some keyword research for one of my client’s Google AdWords Pay-Per-Click account today and I noticed some competitor’s ads were exceeding the 25-character limit for the ad titles. It appears only to happen on [exact match] keywords for ads that use Dynamic Keyword Insertion, but this is the first time I have noticed this. I am bidding on the same exact match keywords, yet my default title is served because it exceeds the 25-character limit. Obviously, I want my title to match exactly the keywords that the user is searching for maximum relevancy so I don’t know how my competitors are somehow able to exceed this limit.

Here’s an example of a query I tried – “oklahoma medical malpractice” (Note – this is just an example, I’m not bidding on this keyword!)

28 Characters!

You can see that an ad is shown with a 28-character title, obviously exceeding the 25-character limit. In this situation, if I was bidding on this exact keyword and my ad was in the top position, I would want my ad to match the keyword exactly by exceeding the 25-character limit.

I tried searching to see if anyone else has noticed the same thing and I did come across one other blog post at http://www.blogation.net/2009/02/26-character-headlines-is-adwords.html, but he notices an ad with a 26-character title.

Has anyone else noticed this before? Why is it happening? How can I get my ads to break the 25-character limit?

Google AdWords Wrapper Tool

Here’s a handy tool for automatically generating Phrase Match and Exact Match keywords for use in your Google AdWords campaigns because if you’re only using Broad Match, may God have mercy on your soul.

http://www.mikes-marketing-tools.com/adwords-wrapper.html

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