Everything You Need To Know About Google Ads Automated Extensions

Earlier this month I wrote about how Google is making Location Extensions automatic for advertisers. This got me thinking about how much has changed since I last wrote about all of the available Google Ads automated extensions back in March 2017. In the last year and a half, new extensions have been added, other extensions have been retired, and we have a whole new Google Ads interface to work with. Because of this, it’s time to do an updated overview of the current automated extensions, how they work, and how you can opt out of using them.

First, a quick reminder of how automated extensions work. If Google predicts that an automated extension will improve your ad’s performance, AdWords will automatically create and show it with your ad. There’s no extra cost when an automated extension shows with your ad, but you can be charged for interactions with some of the automated extensions.

Automated extensions are compatible with campaigns that use manual extensions or not.

The Types of Google Automated Extensions

There are currently eight automated extensions available to advertisers. Let’s take a look at each of them individually so you can decide if they are right for your account.

Automated call extensions

If your website prominently features a phone number, Google Ads may create call extensions for your ads using that phone number. On a mobile device, people can click the extension to call your business and you will be charged for that click.

Manual call extensions *should* override automated, but if you are using third-party call tracking numbers I recommend opting out of this automated extension.

Dynamic sitelink extensions

Google Ads will show dynamic sitelinks if they’re expected to boost your ad’s performance. Based on the search query, Google may show relevant deep links to your website along with your ad. You will be charged if someone clicks on one of your dynamic sitelink extensions.

Google says manual sitelinks will always show instead of dynamic sitelinks if the extension, if available and if the extension is applicable for the ad.

Dynamic structured snippet extensions

These extensions will show additional details about your site with your ads. Google will create structured snippets with information that reflects categories of content found on your site. There’s no cost associated with dynamic structured snippets since a person can’t click on the extensions.

Dynamic callouts

Similar to dynamic structured snippets, this automated extension shows additional details about your business. It is also not a clickable extension, so there’s no additional cost associated with it.

These first four extensions all have manual counterparts you can create within your campaigns. It’s important to note that any manual extensions should override the automatic version.

Automated location extension

This is the newest addition to Google’s automated extensions and can help people find your business by showing your ads with your address, a map to your location, or the distance to your business. If a Google Ads account and a Google My Business account exist for the same business and are not already linked. Google will create a link request between the two accounts. Location extensions for your Google Ads account will then be activated unless you deny the link request or opt out of automatic location extensions.

Automated app extensions

Automated app extensions let people either download or open your app, then be automatically linked to what they were searching for. This extension will only show on mobile or tablet devices that can download the app. You will be charged for a click on an automated app extension.

Automated message extensions

When your website indicates that your business goals include getting people to message you or when you have used a mobile number to set up a call extension, Google ads may set up automated message extensions to direct messages to your business. When your website indicates that your business goals include getting people to message you or when you have used a mobile number to set up a call extension, Google may set up automated message extensions to direct messages to your business.

Seller ratings extensions

Seller ratings do not have a manual counterpart like the extensions above, they are an automated extension only. Seller ratings show a combination of information and reviews, letting people know how your business is rated for quality service on a scale from 1-5 stars. Seller ratings are taken from reputable sources that aggregate business reviews. You are not charged for clicks on seller ratings, but you are charged for clicks on the ads themselves as usual.

How To Opt-Out of Automated Extensions

You can follow these steps in your account to opt out of automated extensions:

  1. Go to the Ad & extensions tab in Google Ads
  2. Select “Automated Extensions”
  3. Click on “More” and select “Advanced Options”
  4. Click on “Turn off specific automated extensions”
  5. Select “Automated location extensions” from the drop-down
  6. Click “Done”

What do you feel about automated ad extensions? Do you opt out of any automated extensions in your accounts? Let us know in the comments below.

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