Jan. 31 marked the cutoff date for creating standard text ads in Google AdWords. This was originally going to happen in October, but Google extended the deadline to give advertisers a little more time to prepare for the change. That day has come, and the metaphorical snooze button isn’t available anymore. Here’s what you need to know:

What’s the difference between a standard text ad and an expanded text ad?

Functionally, the two ad formats are the same. Results in Google search will include text ads on the fringes, and both formats fall into this category. Let’s take a closer look at the primary differences:

The differences between Google's standard and expanded text ads.

In practice, this is the visual difference:

A standard text ad.

A standard text ad.

An expanded text ad.

An expanded text ad.

Can I still use standard text ads?

If your paid marketing campaign has live standard text ads, they can and will still run – for now.  Moving forward, you will not be able to create new standard ads or edit existing ones, and will only be able to choose the expanded text ad option.

What does this mean for my campaign?

Google is running headfirst into the mobile revolution, and this is yet another step in that direction. The update is a blessing in disguise, as the format is device agnostic and optimized for everything. Even if you don’t advertise on mobile, you are still bound to the update.

While standard text ads will still run alongside expanded alternative for the moment, it’s pretty clear that expanded text ads will be prioritized in the long run and standard text ads will slowly be phased out. In fact, you can already see expanded text ads taking priority in your search results:

Paid ads are moving toward expanded and away from standard.

How can I update my ads?

You can’t update your existing standard text ads, per se. Instead, you’ll have to recreate all of your ads in the new format. Sure, you could try to maintain the essence of the original ad, but why stop there? The new format grants a lot of extra space to be creative, so if character limits had restricted you in the past, today is a new day.

David Behuniak

David Behuniak is a Content Marketing Strategist who inexplicably ignores most of his social media profiles. He has a background in digital marketing and advertising, but is also a mediocre musician.