Google Rolls out Enhanced Sitelinks to the UK

Around seven months ago Google announced an interesting new AdWords development in the form of Enhanced Sitelinks, and now after a long wait, the feature is finally being rolled out to AdWords campaigns globally, including in the UK.

If you missed the original announcement or if your recollection is a little hazy, allow me to refresh your memory: Enhanced Sitelinks pair up Sitelinks in your Google AdWords account with relevant text ads using the same URL as the Sitelink, and display the ads alongside the main ad text. For example, if one of your Sitelinks links to a Customer Login page, and one of your ads uses the same Destination URL, rather than simply showing ‘Customer Login’ or whatever your Sitelink text is, the full ad will be shown. Happily, Google produced a sample screenshot showing us exactly how this will look:

What Will This Mean in Practice?

Google claim that their testing shows Enhanced Sitelinks ads attract a higher Click Through Rate than standard one-line site links, which is frankly unsurprising given the amount of screen real estate that will be given over to the ads. We believe a few things will happen as a result of this:

  • Click Through Rate on Enhanced Sitelinks will increase relative to non-enhanced Sitelinks as Google suggest, drawing clicks away from advertisers who only have the ‘simple’ links
  • Competition for Enhanced Sitelinks positions will increase in an effort to retain Clicks, pushing up bid and click costs as a result
  • Click Through Rate on organic search results will decrease
  • The overall cost of advertising via AdWords will increase
  • The lines between paid and free listings will be blurred in consumers’ eyes

If you are a client or advertiser the key takeaways from this are:

  • Expect to pay more for the same traffic or lose traffic
  • Expect competition to strengthen
  • Expect organic SEO to deliver fewer clicks