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Why Google Changed Display URLs

January 20th, 2011 by

Recently, Google changed how they display domain URLs in Adwords PPC ads.

 

Up until now, you could capitalize letters in your domain URL, including any subdomains you were using. So you could display BoostCTR.com or Results.BoostCTR.com. Really, you had the freedom to display your domain URL however you wanted.

 

But Google has decided to make a sweeping change that will automatically display domain URLs in all lowercase letters.

 

It appears this change only applies at the domain level, and does not affect any folders or directories. So you would still be able to display boostctr.com/PPC. Everything after the forward slash can still be capitalized.

 

So why did Google make this change? From the announcement:

 

Recently, we found that by standardizing the look of the URLs on the page, we were able to improve many of our user metrics, including ad clickthrough rates.

 

Okay, so they made the change because it improved many user metrics, including CTR. But why did the change improve user metrics? Why did it improve CTR?

 

My theory is that standardizing the domain URL draws attention away from the domain and puts more attention on the ad copy itself.

 

Because if all the domains have a similar appearance (all lowercase), the searcher will develop ad blindness toward that part of the ad. The searcher will then focus more attention on what can vary from ad to ad: the ad copy!

 

As you may already know, we believe ad copy is critical to getting the best performance possible out of PPC ads. And with this across-the-board change, ad copy will become even more important than it was before.

 

 

ryan-healy About the Author: Ryan Healy is direct response copywriter and BoostCTR’s Director of Writer Development. Since 2002, he has worked with scores of clients, including Alex Mandossian, Terry Dean, and Pulte Homes. Get a free 39-point copywriting check list when you visit his business growth blog.

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7 Responses to “Why Google Changed Display URLs”

  1. [...] Prize List « Why Google Changed Display URLs [...]

  2. Shea Park says:

    Hi Ryan great post and information. I’ve read a little about this, do you know when Google made this official change? -Shea

  3. Ryan Healy says:

    Hi Shea – According to the announcement, the change was supposed to be rolled out across Google’s entire network within a couple weeks.

  4. [...] piece on Search Engine Watch about the AdWords display URL changes (check out Ryan’s take on why AdWords changed the display URL in the first [...]

  5. Anonymous says:

    [...] is a change that has raised a lot of questions from the advertiser community and speculation on why AdWords changed its display URL policy – but basically the change means that your domain will be displayed in all lower-case letters. [...]

  6. [...] is a change that has raised a lot of questions from the advertiser community and speculation on why AdWords changed its display URL policy – but basically the change means that your domain will be displayed in all lower-case letters. [...]

  7. [...] is a change that has raised a lot of questions from the advertiser community and speculation on why AdWords changed its display URL policy – but basically the change means that your domain will be displayed in all lower-case letters. [...]