Google has been expanding testing for the new Smart Annotations over the past few weeks. Smart Annotations automatically pull information from an advertiser’s landing page in an additional line of text in their ads.
Google hasn’t made an official announcement, but AdWords reps have been reaching out to notify their clients of the roll-out. Nilaye Tharkar, head of search at Performics Canada, received a heads up at the end of January about Smart Annotations testing. Here’s an excerpt from that email:
While this added line is not clickable, we saw an average CTR improvement of 9% in our pilot.The added line comes from data we find on the landing page; it comes from navigation categories that typically are on the left side of your page (but could be elsewhere, like along the top). We look for relevancy and then typically take them in order off the landing page; respecting any trademark claims we have on file.We expect to make basic reporting available roughly 1 month after launching (earlier data would not be statistically significant), and as always there is an opt out procedure
In the screenshot above, the smart annotation is pulling the list of “Laptop Features” itemized about halfway way down the left navigation on that Best Buy landing page. Often, the annotation will include a list of brands, also pulled from the left nav, as in the example below forwarded by Tharkar.
However, in an example I found today, the smart annotation is pulling from footer content, and the user value is questionable. The colon after “Brands” in the annotation makes the listing particularly confusing.Here’s the footer information getting pulled into this smart annotation.
This format is still in a limited test phase, so we may see funky displays like this example to get ironed out.
Again, these extra lines of copy are getting pulled in automatically, so there is no action to take on the advertiser’s end except to opt-out if desired.