Articles in The 'Google-ad-test' Tag

May 26 2011

No More Pretending – The Display Url is in the Ad Headline

by Katherine Bennett

It’s possible that some searchers have had to do a double-take with some of the ads they’ve seen on Google recently. It’s not a glitch. Google is testing out the display url in the headline of paid placement ads. For many searchers and companies alike, this is a welcomed breathe of fresh air.

In an article in Search Engine Land, Google wants to “clarify to users where their click-through will take them.”  A lot of searchers glance at ad copy, but don’t take the time to check out the display url right beneath the paid placement ad copy.  Due to this oversight, many searchers have made the mistake of clicking on the wrong paid placement ad.  They think they are going to one particular site and end up on the wrong website.  Some searchers have the patience to go back and figure out where they went wrong, while others may abandon their search or start a new search altogether. By showing the display url in the headline, Google is shedding a lot more light on where the final destination of an ad will lead a searcher. Some predict that this will result in better clickthrough rates for many businesses, especially since this gives searchers a better clue of where they will be landing.

For many companies this is a plus, because other businesses won’t be able to disguise themselves as another site. This is especially important for companies’ branded terms. For years businesses have been putting “official site” and the trademark symbol “®” in their ads to shine a beacon of light to searchers and help them steer clear of imitations.  As Google continues to roll out ads for advertisers that show the display url in the headline, the murky waters of paid placement ad confusion should become more pristine and sparking. It’s a lot harder for imitators to pretend they are the official site when the display url in their headline glaringly, states that they aren’t the true site.  Take a look at the example below. The url of “” in the headline labels the ad as belonging to

No More Pretending- The Display Url is in the Ad Headline

Morevisibility.  Even if a competitor tried to be crafty and say, “We will give your ads “more visibility” in the search world.” A searcher would be able to tell from the display url in the headline that Morevisibility wasn’t running the ad.

Display url’s in the headline give legitimate businesses an edge over crafty competitors and sneaky imitators. As Google continues to roll out this new change, it should prove itself to be a win-win situation for searchers and for companies who are the original provider of products and/or services.

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