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Google Extends a Hand

February 17, 2012 • Article by Nettie Wells

Google Adwords Ad Extensions add flexibility to how your ad is displayed, allowing to tailor the ad to your business type and user requirements. For example, a local pizzeria can use Location Extensions to help users navigate to its premises and Call Extensions to allow mobile users to order a pizza over telephone by simply clicking on the extension. On the other hand, an online toy store would employ Product Extensions to display actual product listings in their ads, or Sitelink Extensions that would take the user directly to the selected landing page.

Thus, at the moment have had the following extensions available:

Location Extension
Call Extension
Sitelink Extension
Product Extension
Social Extension
Video Extension

Google, however, are testing two more extensions to help us customise our ads (and increase Google’s revenue!)

Communication Extension

This extension allows to collect user information without the user actually visiting the landing page:

The extension comes in the following flavours:

Subscribe to a newsletter
Request a call
Request an email

The extension should naturally increase the volume of leads. However, there is a question we have to ask before we jump on the new Google wagon: Will that affect lead quality? There is a chance users who submit a contact request without viewing the landing page may quickly drop out of the funnel. That would mean not only a wasted click, but also wasted resources to respond. Is user engagement becoming a fad??

For the Analytics-obsessed: first-click conversion attribution may be difficult as the first click would take place outside the website.

The extension is currently in beta testing in North America, and Google are secretive about their plans for the UK & Europe. Fears have been expressed that full release of the extension have the effect of the first mouse-laden ship arriving in Australia…

Offer Extension

Google’s new extension is primarily directed at e-commerce. The extension would allow users to either directly redeem a special offer by landing them on the relevant offers page, or save or print offer details for in-store redemption:

With voucher websites rapidly gaining advantage over the “traditional” price comparison engines, Google are going with the spirit of the time. The Offers extension is the vanguard of Google Offers, already rolled out in some of US cities: when setting up the extensions, advertisers may choose to land the Extension traffic on a Google-hosted offer page.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming months. Advertisers may see improved CTRs and, consequently, quality scores & CPCs. From the SEO perspective, it will certainly be yet another addition to the rich content results on the more and more crowded Google SERPs…

Outside North America, Offer Extensions are currently only available to white listed users in the UK. Search Star will be testing in the coming months and will duly report!