If you have ever wanted to add a short testimonial in your AdWords ad and wanted to cite the source, Google has heard you. A couple of weeks ago Google announced a new extension to AdWords called review extensions. Review extensions, as the name implies, will allow you to add a short review to your ad. Google is calling this the “don’t take our word for it” tool. Below are examples Google supplied showing how review extensions will look in an AdWords ad.
Reviews or statements by authority figures about a product or service are closely intertwined with advertising. We constantly see ads with celebrity spokespersons saying a product is great or telling you to use this product because they use it. Many times, before we purchase a product, we search online for user reviews to see what they think. Searchers like to see what others say about a particular product or service before committing to a purchase. It seems Google is tapping into that need with review extensions.
OK, so what are the rules for using review extensions? Review extension ads still follow the same AdWords standard policies. Another caveat is the review will have to come from a reputable third party. So far Google has not made it public how they will determine what counts as a “reputable” source, but we can safely assume that there will be checks for some indication of relevance and authority. It will be your responsibility to ensure you have the right to use a specific review in your ads, so be sure to get permission from the individual, blog, or publication prior to including their comments.
You also can’t fake a source. Google will confirm the validity of your review sources using automated and human-based systems. In other words, don’t be tempted to be less than honest, as Google will check to make sure the source is real.
Although not many details were initially revealed, Search Engine Land was able to pry a few more details from Google. Chief among these are:
(1) The source listed in the ad becomes a link that can link directly to the source’s website. For example, if the ad had a review from PC Magazine, the words “PC Magazine” would be clickable and link to the PC Magazine website.
(2) Review extension will be limited to 67 characters, which will include the linked name of the review source. That leaves relatively few characters for the actual comment from the review, so advertisers will need to choose wisely to get full benefit from this addition.
Currently, review extensions are only available in English. They are in beta release and the search giant may still be looking for advertisers to participate in the program. If you want to participate, contact your AdWords representative. No word yet on when they will roll out to all AdWords advertisers.
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