With expanded text ads now generally available and the October 26 cut-off for being able to upload traditional ads into AdWords looming, Google has updated the ad preview in the AdWords web interface. The update also seems to provide a better indication of whether a headline might get truncated.
Spotted by Steven Johns at Door4 in the UK Friday morning, the new preview appears to be rolling out. I can now see it live in accounts.
The new preview tool has separate views for desktop and mobile and also has a separate section to view sample ds. Clicking on the View more link brings up a window with several more examples of expanded text ads from various industry sectors like this:
In addition to helping advertisers transition to expanded text ads, the new preview tool update is likely also in response to concerns about some ads being truncated. The old version didn’t always indicate when the second headline might be truncated. The new version seems to be much more attuned to this issue. Here’s an example of the preview tool indicating the second headline will potentially be cut off on desktop (it shows fine in the mobile preview):
In the example above, the headlines use a lot of high pixel characters (i.e. wide characters) which make it more likely to cut off. Google continues to advise that most advertisers take advantage of all the characters available and says truncation is not common. For marketers in highly regulated sectors that need to ensure full copy is viewable, Google suggests limiting the combined character count of the headlines to 33 characters.
For most, however, the focus can be on writing effective ads. If you’re not already testing expanded text ads, here’s a look at some early results and suggestions for getting started.