This morning I discovered what appears to be partial paid search ad within the Google Suggest drop-down menu. It appears that the Firefox extension is pulling the 25 character ad headline and display URL right into the drop-down menu. As an advertiser on Google, I was surprised not to have heard of this development. It has yet to be determined if these partial impressions are counted in the AdWords tally. What is more concerning is the fact that none of these paid ads actually appear to work. All of the paid partial ads point to the page below showing the page www.google.com/www.displayurl.com/ does not exist.
I would assume that these “clicks” to the partial ads within the Suggest menu are not actually being counted since the user never hits the destination page, but this has yet to be confirmed. It looks like there are still some bugs to be worked out here obviously, but this is something advertisers should be aware of.
Impressions on text ads might not be as valuable as impressions for other ad units, but they can still have a major impact, especially for users early in the decision making process that are compiling a short list of potential solutions or products. So, if 70 characters of your impression are missing, the value is undoubtedly decreased, as benefit statements and offers that most often influence click behavior are missing. Furthermore, as an advertiser I would be concerned about the partial impressions and how these partial impressions could bring down the click through rate, which in turn decreases the Quality Score and brings down the performance of the AdGroup and Campaign as a whole.
Hopefully Google will allow for an option to block these impressions so that advertisers have the ability to save their limited funds for full ad impressions that don’t dilute Quality Score overall campaign metrics.