Google Showing Display URL Domain in Headline for Select Adwords Ads

Google has done a great job in recent months in pushing the limits and possibilities of the ‘traditional’ paid search ad that consisted of a blue 25 character headline, two descriptions lines of 35 characters each and a display URL offering an additional 35 characters. The current options include extended ad headlines, sitelinks, location extensions and more.

Google has recently announced they will begin adding the display URL domain at the end of the headline for some ads appearing in the top positions (ie. those ads that appear above the organic search results).

This change will affect all languages and all ads across, Google’s Search Partners, and other Google properties.

In terms of a time-line, beginning last week Google will add the domain to the headline separated by a vertical bar to feature the brand more prominently in the ad. What is important to note, however, is the resulting headline must be 68 characters or less for this to happen. If the headline already contains the domain, Google will not display it again.

Before Display URL Domain Included in Headline

Google Adwords Before URL in Title

After Display URL Domain Included in Headline


What do you think of the new change? Has it impacted your accounts performance? Leave your thoughts or feedback in the comment below!


4 Responses to “Google Showing Display URL Domain in Headline for Select Adwords Ads”
  1. This is quite an interesting development for Google Ad’s. I believe it’s Google trying to make their paid ads look more like organic results.

    These now look like a lot of standard title tags you see in the natural results. Combine this with the fact that the yellow background the ads sit on is getting fainter, plus you don’t always get three ads at the top of the SERPs… means that Google is trying to blur the lines between paid and organic results. People are more likely to click on the paid results, thinking that they could be the natural, organic result. This is great for Google and those who advertise with them, but not so great for those working hard to get to the number one organic spot.

  2. Evelyn says:

    I didn’t realize that headlines could include more than 25 characters. When I attempt to create a headline with more than 25 characters I receive an error message. Is this a special feature that is allowed for specific AdWords accounts?

  3. jonclark says:

    @Evelyn the ad character limits still apply so create your ads as you normally would – 25 characters for the headline and 35 for each description line. As long as you end the first description line with punctuation such as a period (.) or a exclamation point (!) Google will, at its discretion, append your description line 1 to the headline. Alternatively, Google has been pulling the display URL into the headline in some cases for qualifying ads.


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