Google announced their latest ad extension update on 24th of July, “dynamic sitelinks”. Enhanced sitelinks have become the bread and butter extension for most advertisers, allowing us to dominate the SERPs, drive a higher CTR and recently, improve ad rank. So whats new with this update?
Clever Dynamic Copy
Similar to Dynamic remarketing, Google will be basing what they serve on the activity of the visitor. This time, it’s all about what they have already done, where they have been, and the intent of their search. Lets say a visitor is looking for group travel insurance, and they have been checking out some of your competitors prices. Now when your generic ad shows for their search of “travel insurance”, your sitelink will read along the lines of “Best Prices On Group Travel”, and link directly to your group landing page. Pretty cool!
While it’s doable to create highly targeted, ad group specific sitelinks already, dynamic sitelinks allow us to target the true interest of the searcher, with no extra work.
Unlike most previous features, Google has stated that dynamic sitelinks will be automatically active unless you specifically opt out via this form. Why? We have a couple of theories.
Google wants to test this out, and fast. It has been rolled out globally, which is unusual, normally new features pilot in the US a good few months before they reach the UK and Europe.
Encouraging people to use extensions has been one of Google’s focuses for a while now, most notably when they announced sitelinks would begin to affect ad rank. For most of us, that makes them near enough compulsory, but what about the few remaining advertisers still running vanilla ads? How many will take the time to opt out? As far as Google is concerned, more space taken up with ads = more clicks, and more clicks = more money, and Google likes money.
FREE clicks (for now?)
Yes, clicks on dynamic sitelinks are legitimately free! Undoubtedly they won’t remain so if they begin to pick up a lot of traffic, and surely this is just a way of limiting the opt-outs, but we are still going to make full use of free clicks while we have the option.
At Upstream, we will begin running a test between dynamic and enhanced sitelinks, the performance differences will be interesting and may give us a tell on the future direction of extensions. Be sure to check out the results of our study when we post it!