Month: January 2015

Why aren’t your ad extensions showing?

Why aren’t your ad extensions showing?
Simple answer. “extensions may not show all the time due to space, quality and other constraints”.

Google is under no obligation to show Ad extensions every time your ads show on their search page. They have to balance a lot of space demands on the page. Ads, Maps, Organics and other snippets. Throwing in extra lines of text for every Ad does not make economic sense for them.

They couldn’t squeeze them all in there anyway. The screen real estate is limited on search and with mobile device and tablets screens the space is even less.

You & every other Ad on the page are not paying for the display of the Ad in that screen real estate, rather your are only paying for the click. It is G’s interest to show Ads and extensions that are performing well. They have a higher propensity to get clicked on. And the quality & relevance is what gets a searcher to come back and use Google again.

(If you don’t believe relevancy is important, ask the ghosts of Alta Vista what happened when a competitor search engine provided more relevant results) .

Which is where Quality comes into play…

If showing the extension results in less click-throughs for your Ad then extension will get shown as often. That is a simplification, but it is the nub of the issue for many who’s extensions don’t show.

When Google mandated that phone numbers were no longer allowed in the Ad text, but only in the Ad Call extension (and optionally in location extensions), it was a good thing*.

The Ad performance was decoupled from the (CTR reducing effect of the) phone number and also freed up space in the Ads for more compelling text. The losers in this process were those looking for Free calls by hoping people wouldn’t click on their Ads but just call the number instead.

Other Constraints.

1. Another common one is position. Whilst this varies due to Google’s ongoing layout experiments, in most cases only the top 3-5 positions get additional data such as Ad extensions shown.

2. The Ad extension Sitelinks and Callouts, phone or address information overlap or are duplicated. Only one or two of these is shown. In the case of callouts and sitelinks this is to reduce duplication or “stuffing” of terms. So one of more additional extension elements may not show for a given search. This is recent and the implementation & behaviour may be further refined.

3. Here is a fuller list of reasons and troubleshooting.