google-thumbAs the expanded text ads began rolling out, there were advertisers who noticed that the longer double headline is sometimes cut off.  This could cause a few issues that could have possible legal ramifications for businesses in highly regulated industries, such as pharmaceuticals.  The below tweet is an example of this cut off:


There was a response to the above tweet by the Google AdWords’ social team that recommended that in order to keep the combined character count of the the two headlines limited to a total of 33 character.  This should avoid having the second headline be truncated.

Google’s Cassie Hartt followed up on Wednesday with clarification on the issue on the AdWords Community forum.There were a number of folks who said that truncation isn’t really about a specific character count, but more about pixels.  The ads that advertisers put out there are based on characters, and in order to avoid headline truncation, Hartt reiterated the recommendation of 33 characters:

Advertisers who must adhere to strict legal or regulatory ad requirements should consider creating headlines with 33 characters or less to ensure all of their ad text shows — even on the smallest devices. These advertisers should also take into consideration the size (and language) of these characters. For example, an ‘M’ takes up more space than an ‘i.’

The fact is, if your ad includes compliance-related information within the headline, and truncation will change the meaning, or you just don’t like the idea of your work getting cut off, it’s a good idea to stick to 33 characters.

Hartt said that if the Ad Preview too shows the full headline, “it generally won’t truncate when served.”  Google is still encouraging most advertisers to take advantage of the full 60 character limit.

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