When Google introduced Extensions, it seemed like a great way to increase the “real estate” of your ads. That’s how I first viewed it. Make them bigger. Google has something greater in mind, and it’s all about driving relevancy. How do you get the user the most relevant information to what they need? This is the goal behind everything Google is doing today, from “OK Google,” to info Cards in Google Now and in Search, the goal is delivering the most relevant information to the user.
Take for example two people who want pizza. One is walking down Hollywood Blvd searching on their phones, and one sitting at their desktop in their Culver City apartment. California Pizza Kitchen may want to drastically increase their bids on mobile ads within .5 a from their franchise location to attract the foot traffic of those walking down the street, and decrease their bids on users searching from a desktop computer. The thought process being that it’s more likely that the desktop user in their apartment is more likely to be searching for a delivery option, which is outside California Pizza Kitchen’s repertoire.
This is why Google has altered its’ algorithm for AdRank to give ads with good extensions a higher priority. Here’s Google’s Chief Economist, Hal Varian, talking about the algorithm.
So this is the idea behind relevant information. Ad Extensions are great tools to put relevant information directly in front of the user, while still on the search page. The newest addition to the Extensions segment, are Structured Snippet Extensions. The Structured Snippets are great for advertising a list of products, services, brands, or types of the thing the user is searching for. One example might be the difference between a company who manufactures lighting equipment listing a product offering of decorative Edison bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, CFL’s, and LED’s. A business that installs lighting equipment may find this information in a search, and the structured snippet lets the user find the bulbs they’re looking for to install for their client. Their client on the other hand, may find Lighting Installation Co. from an adwords campaign, where they might not want to see the type of lights but the structured snippet would include services offered, like 24/7 on call repairs, electrical engineering support, interior design and lighting consulting. These extensions are a glimpse into your company, or facet of your company, and drive relevant information to your clients search results. Which in the end, is good for you, the searching party, and Google.