Contextual Advertising

Google Text Link Ads vs. Text Link Ads

On Tuesday Google made the announcement that they are launching a Pay Per Performance ad model for AdSense Ads which comes with its own new form of Google ad placement, Google Text Link Ads : “You can create text, image, or text link ads for your pay-per-action campaign.

Text links are hyperlinked brief text descriptions that take on the characteristics of a publisher’s page. Publishers can place them in line with other text to better blend the ad and promote your product. For example, you might see the following text link embedded in a publisher’s recommendatory text: “Widgets are fun! I encourage all my friends to Buy a high-quality widget today.” (Mousing over the link will display “Ads by Google” to identify these as pay-per-action ads).

Though the maximum length of a text link is 90 characters, we’ve found that shorter links perform better because they allow the publisher use the link in more places on her/his site and in different context. The maximum length is 90 characters but less than 5 words is best. Even better, just use your brand name to offer maximum flexibility to the publisher.

Barry Schwartz has a nice rundown at Search Engine Roundtable on the new Google ‘Text Link Ads’ format for the Pay-Per-Action referral ads and includes this screenshot of a link ad in action :

google text link ads Google Text Link Ads vs. Text Link Ads

What intrigues me is Google’s use of the phrase “text link ads.” Although they have not, to the best of my knowledge, officially named the ad unit Google Text Link Ads, they have used the term in their initial description of the unit and the term seems to be catching on among the search blogs in the industry.

Of course, there is a company called Text Link Ads which has been established for years, does a lot of promotion, and continues to grow among the SEO and Search Marketing business as a legitimate and proven form of online advertising. I can’t help but think that Google’s use of the term Text Link Ads will cause some major confusion around the Internet marketing community, and perhaps harm either the Text Link Ads company, or Google themselves.

In my opinion, Google should use a totally different label for these new advertisement options; embedded ads, keyword ads or even link ads; or something less generic and not related to an existing company and possibly a Google rival when it comes to online advertising.

The timing is also questionable, as Text Link Ads is expanding its services into Blog Reviews, RSS feed links and other text ad oriented offerings.

Your thoughts?

Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Google Text Link Ads vs. Text Link Ads
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Screen Shot 2014 04 15 at 7.21.12 AM Google Text Link Ads vs. Text Link Ads

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