Google pilots new PPC ad format


Google confirmed it is testing a new PPC ad format. However, key details such as the official name, functionality, influence on auction dynamics, and effect on metrics are yet to be released.

The lack of information surrounding the new ad format has drawn criticism from advertisers.

First spotted: The new ad format was first flagged by Anthony Higman, CEO of online advertising agency Adsquire, who shared a preview on X:

He posted: “These aren’t LSAs, they’re PPC ads. What are we calling this new ad format? And why was no one informed about It?”

Lack of transparency. Commenting on the new ad format and lack of information provided from Google, Higman told Search Engine Land:

  • “What bothers me about most things that Google has rolled out recently is the lack of transparency.”
  • “I get that it’s 2024 and things are moving faster than ever, but when they roll out a new ad format, of which we have seen about ten in past few weeks, it would be really helpful if they explained how these new ads work and what changes they imply via auction dynamics.”
  • “But it seems to me like they just roll these new ads out, then try and figure out how to explain what these changes mean for advertisers.”
  • “As a PPC veteran, what rubs me the wrong way is that this feels more and more like we are being forced into adopting everything that Google wants via AI, machine learning and just “trusting” the machine – which again still lacks a lot of transparency in my opinion.”

‘Beyond crazy’. Melissa Mackey, paid search director at Compound Growth Marketing, also criticized the lack of information around the new ad format. She wrote on X:

  • “It’s beyond crazy what’s happening in the LSA world right now. Thankfully, we don’t have any clients who use them, but for those who do, this is a new nightmare on the daily.”
  • “We haven’t seen these for any of our clients but agree it’s a cr*p ad format plus there’s no info on how this affects metrics etc.”

Why we care. The new ad format lacks clear information on costs and metrics, making it difficult to monitor and optimize campaign performance.

What Google is saying. A Google spokesperson confirmed to Search Engine Land that the new ad format is still in the experimental stage, and there is no certainty about its full launch yet.


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