Google has recently been beta testing a new type of Google Ads format that has seen the search engine results page look a little different of late – and the latest one could have big implications for advertisers.

While Google has been prolific about rolling out new formats for Ads (including Showcase Shopping Ads and Shoppable Image Ads which debuted ahead of the busy holiday season last year), this new format is quite a departure from regular Ads.

The new format is a carousel of text ads, with the beta only showing on mobile devices. Rather than appearing at the top of the search results as we’re accustomed to from Google Ads, the carousel appears below the first sponsored placement under a ‘People also considered’ heading. Below the heading, a carouse of individual text ads, each contained within an individual box, runs the width of the screen.

Why is this notable?

As we have mentioned, the placement and design of the carousel text ads makes them quite a significant prospect in their own right but, the nature of this format also raises a number of considerations for advertisers.

The ad real estate for each carousel ad is limited, giving two headlines, a very brief amount of text and no ad extensions.

The smaller space given over to text ads could have performance implications as there’s a very limited window in which to grab a search user’s attention.

Budget could also be an issue here and there could be a concern for those brands who don’t maintain the top spot for their own brand name. If a business is outbid on its branded search term, the number one advert for that brand’s own name would, as things stand from the beta, appear in position one with all standard ad extensions as appropriate. The brand relegated to the text carousel would then be much less visible, with much less space to stand out, for its own name.

This prospect could of course send ad performance plummeting and seriously hit click through rates and conversions for businesses without deep pockets.

Securing your brand

Way back in 2016, we wrote a post on the importance of securing your brand. Brand versus non-branded advertising is a debate that has been going on for years and seriously divides some advertisers however, this new ad format appears to demonstrate that this may not be a luxury but a necessity.