With the removal of sidebar ads; headlines, description lines, and extensions are taking center stage. Just take a look at this screenshot taken on April 28th 2016:

Headline length display in AdWords

Many headlines are up to 60 characters in length, which means marketers need to worry about not just headlines but how their description lines are going to look when funneled into their headlines automatically.

But here’s the big news - Marketers are also starting to see more than just the 1st description line pulled into their headline. It has been standard for some time that the 1st description line may automatically be pulled into the headline, as long as there is punctuation added to the end of the line. This is what such a traditional ad would look like when being built in the AdWords interface. Notice that Google is informing us in the preview pane that the headline has the opportunity to be extended.

headline length display in Adwords

Here is an example of what would not have worked in the past – does the punctuation not fall at the end of description line? Nope, line 1 ends on “High Interest” before “Rates.” There is no punctuation at the end of line 1. A headline extension should not be allowed, right?

Mobile headline length display in Adwords

But wait…when viewed in a mobile device, the headline is extended. This could be just a taste of what we’ll see when 80-character headlines become the norm in future. It is also a sign that Google is treating mobile ads to extremely extended headlines.

Ad headline length on mobile display.

The same goes for punctuation that ends a sentence before line 1 is through:

preview pane for mobile ads in Adwords

The preview pane doesn’t promise us an extended headline, but we are seeing in the mobile interface that the beginning of description line 1 is being set into the headline, just as the description line 1 and a piece of 2 were added to the headline in the previous example. And the site is mentioned to boot.

mobile preview pane in Adwords

These are all exciting developments that show one needs to be mindful of all ad text, not just the headline. Also it is becoming less and less predictable to know when and where a PPC manager’s ads are going to be extended.