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Adwords Site links – Google Policy Enforcement Notice

by mattobrien on October 05, 2012

Recently Google announced that it was going to be proactively enforcing one of its Adwords policies relating to the use of site links ad extensions. But before we go into the changes, first lets explain what site links are and how you can use them.

Have you ever noticed that sometime the top three ads on Google Adwords have blue text underneath them? These are site links. Site links allow you to have additional links from your Google advert, to your website.

Google tells us that ad with site links get a better click rate than ads that don’t have them; however site links only appear if your ad is in one of the top three positions and ads in these positions tend to get significantly higher click rates than ads in the other positions anyway. So what is the real benefit of using site links within your ads?

Site links allow you to promote additional products and services to your audience, giving you more text than the current 25/35/35 character limit on your ad. They also give you a larger advert on Adwords, potentially making your ad stand out more than a competitor not using them.

The idea of site links is to be able to direct users to specific pages on your website, helping a potential customer to better find what they are looking for, however it seems that not everyone has been using site links to do this and this is the cause of the proactive policy enforcement notice from Google. Site links are supposed to link to different landing pages and to different content, but some advertisers have been purely using them as an ad space land grab and linking all site links to the same page, reducing the quality of the user experience.

Google is now going to be reviewing all site links to make sure that they all link to individual web pages with unique content and those that do not will be ‘restricted from appearing’ to use Google’s words. Any new site links that are added to a campaign will automatically be check for compliance, so it’s time to make sure your team are up to speed with the rules and adhere by them otherwise it is likely your site links won’t be showing at all and your ads may lose prominence in the Adwords environment.

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