October 10, 2012 Michelle Garber

Top 10 AdWords Innovations to Watch

In the future world of Google AdWords, ads will contain dynamic features and ads will create themselves. Searchers can become more interactive with ads by watching video, getting coupons, or downloading apps with one click.

Sound like advertising sci-fi? Determine for yourself with our Top 10 AdWords innovations, recently released and in various stages of testing.

Search Engine Results

1. Media Ads

In limited release, Media Ads contain a video component served in the AdWords ad in search results. Google serves the ads based on linking keyword queries with the movie title. No keywords are selected and the pricing is flat rate. There are two links from this ad, one to the landing page and another to the video view.


When someone clicks on the video thumbnail, the video expands to contain a larger portion of the screen. You can see in this new screen, integration with Google+ and local showtimes at theaters.


2. Product Listing Ads

These ads are different from product extensions because the ads are shown in a non-highlighted sponsored area, directly under (or to the right of) the traditional top text ads. These campaigns don’t require keywords or text, but are directly linked to a Google Merchant Center account.


With a keyword search, Google will automatically select the most relevant product from the merchant center account. The cost is still CPC or CPA. Currently in limited release.

3. Enhanced Sitelinks

Our old friend the sitelink gets a makeover. Recently released, enhanced sitelinks take up more real estate in the SERPs. Automatically generated, they appear in the top and bottom of Google search results. On desktops, two, four, or six links are shown in addition to the display URL. Mobile ads can show up to two additional links.


The enhanced sitelinks look like four other ads attached to the primary mother ad. The account must contain active ads closely related to the sitelinks in the campaign.

Google claims in testing, the enhanced sitelinks had a higher click-through rate than the two to three line sitelinks. Google has reported ads with the basic sitelinks to be a 30 percent improvement over ads with no sitelinks at all.

4. Remarketing for Search

Now in beta testing, advertisers can retarget their audience based on previous keyword search history, and serve the ads in search engine results page. Check out this comprehensive article on this impending product here on Search Engine Watch.

5. Offers Extensions


In limited release, the perfect marriage between offers and ads in the SERPs helps to take up more valuable real estate. The new offer extensions appear in the ad content and are specific to coupons, discounts, rebates, etc. The coupons can be redeemed online or can be printed out and taken to a physical location.

This feature also appears to have advanced integration with the Google Offers product in that one can save the deal to “my offers”. This has been in beta and/or limited release for some time and I have seen links or buttons with the call-to-action.

6. Reminder Extension


Reminder Extensions, new in beta, enables searchers to send themselves an email reminder for an advertised event. These events can be in a physical location or online. Some examples of “reminders” would be a sales event, a store opening, application deadlines, or even happy hour specials at a local pub.

Google Display Network

7. Remarketing for Google Analytics

Recently released, new and powerful targeting lists can be built in Google Analytics based on advertiser-defined segments. Along with visitors to certain web pages or sections of a site, advertisers can target visitor segment by source, for example, all visitors from YouTube or other referral source. Lists are much easier to create than through AdWords, but completely integrated.

8. Dynamic Display Ads

Finally the ability to take display ads to the next level. In limited release, display ad creative can be dynamically generated to specific users or websites.

Using the Display Ad Builder and Google Merchant center, Google will update ads in a template with products from the merchant feed. Display ads can be targeted and customized a variety of ways. For example, serve a specific ad based on site content, or shopper behavior on your site.

Other Ads

9. Comparison Ads


In limited beta with limited verticals, but this is still a fascinating ad model. Cost-per-lead model that shows the searcher an offer with comparison to other companies. In the finance industry, the current advertising testers, consumers can compare rates and offers for credit cards, CD, checking account, and savings accounts.

10. App Promotions

There is an app for that. Target your apps to people using apps. Ads can be automatically created with AdWords provided graphics and formatting, then updated with the rating ad reviews. Advertisers can promote their apps to app users with a target CPA.

Bonus: Communication Ad Extension


This ad type has made an appearance in the SERPs several times in the past year, with varying CTAs in the button. Sometimes “view offer” or “subscribe to newsletter.” Wordstream described it as “a means of collecting information (i.e., a lead) from a visitor without actually sending them to a landing page – you can grab their data right there in the SERP on Google.com.”

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About the Author

Michelle Garber
Michelle Garber Michelle Garber (Flagstad) started out her career online doing .NET web development for the State of Missouri. After working on a variety of payment solutions and grants application development, she decided to move into the private sector. After a couple years of business analysis at DST, Inc. she started working freelance helping those in the financial services verticals with their landing pages and conversion rates. Since joining MarketizeIt as a partner, Michelle has worked on a variety of projects to help increase web quality, PPC conversion rates, web A/B testing, internal lead portal systems, SEO structuring, and a million other things to help the clients of MarketizeIt.

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