Google sent out a policy enforcement e-mail in regards to the Sitelink Ad Extension. If you are using sitelinks now, or are considering using sitelinks extension then this a blog post for you.
What is the Sitelink Extension?
A sitelink ad extension is a feature on your Google Adwords campaign which allows you to add links to specific landing pages below your CPC listing. For example when searching for art supplies, dickblick.com comes up with 4 links to interior landing pages: Art Supplies, Clearance, Hot Deals of the Week and New Products. There is a limit of 10 links you can add to you listing, which helps the click-through rate for your campaign. Among 11 links inclusive of the main title link to your website you are bound to have one link which entices the user based upon their search query.
Google’s Change to Sitelink Ad Extensions
As always Google is catering to the end user. As a result they are constantly seeking out strategies which have created loopholes diminishing the end users experience. With the gracious amount of sitelinks (10) people are abusing the space and use by creating multiple links to the same page. For example, dickblick.com could be abusing this extension by adding Art Supplies to their interior page e.g. /art-supplies/and also linking the text “Cheap Art Supplies” to the same interior page. Shown Below:
Unique Sitelink Ad Extensions
There is going to be an enforcement change to these extensions which will prevent the linking of the same landing page with different link text. This is to not only increase the users experience by giving them genuinely different options, but to strengthen the value of your CPC listing by providing links to unique content within your site.
What does this mean for my existing sitelink extensions?
Initially Google says they will focus on new sitelink extensions which are being created in the system. If your ad campaign does not adhere to the new standards your ad extension will be disapproved and not appear in search results. Next Google will start going through the ads which are being served for search queries and grade the performance of associated ad extensions. It is important to not be complacent about this issue and allow your text ads to run without the extension, it will directly affect the value of your text ads. Having non-eligible sitelinks could result in lower CTR and ultimately less visibility.
How much time do I have?
I received the e-mail on September 28th, according to the e-mail they will be going through the links in the next couple months, so I assume near the beginning of December ad campaigns will begin to be affected by this issue. Let us know if you see any changes in your campaigns.
Questions about Your Existing CPC Ad-Extensions
If you would like more information about this sitelink policy visit here.
If you need help managing your existing CPC Campaign call us now at 303.473.4400 to talk to a real person about your internet marketing strategies. We will work with you to drive profitable traffic to your site.