Longer ads and a desktop campaign management application are two of the latest ideas under Google's microscope.
Google has been testing out two new features for AdWords advertisers, including longer text ads and a desktop application to manage AdWords campaigns.
AdWords Editor, which launched in beta on Tuesday, is a downloadable account management application for Windows that lets users make changes to multiple AdWords campaigns, in multiple accounts, and then upload changes in bulk to Google's system.
According to the FAQ on Google's site, "AdWords Editor can work for any Google AdWords advertiser with any size account. The application is particularly useful for advertisers with large accounts containing multiple campaigns and long keyword lists."
A spokesperson for Google declined to share details on the scope of the beta test, or how advertisers could become involved, saying only, "We are currently conducting a test of the AdWords Editor with a limited number of advertisers. In the future, we plan to open this up to a broader set of advertisers. At this time we don't have any specific details to share about the scope of the test or future plans."
The application is so far only available in English, for Windows 2000 or Windows XP users, but Google says it is working now to create versions in other languages, and for other platforms.
Another feature Google is testing is longer text ads on search results pages. For a limited number of advertisers and keywords, ads are being shown that are longer than the 70-character limit Google generally imposes. In one instance, as reported by Search Engine Roundtable, shows the top result of a search for "California weather" returning a four-line, 199-character ad from the non-profit College Board. A similar search at press time returned a one-line, 58-character ad from College Board.
A Google spokesperson said the ads are part of a "limited test" that has been running since the summer. Again, details were sparse, and Google declined to comment on the ads other than to say, "We are always exploring ways to improve the way we display ads. User and advertiser feedback is an important part of this process."
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Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
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