Ad sitelinks have become a big success since their release over a year ago, helping advertisers to increase their CTR up to 30% on average. As a result of sitelinks’ success and popularity, Google decided to improve the way they serve their ad sitelinks. As you know, Google allows advertisers to add up to 10 sitelinks at the campaign level, which are then applied to relevant ads (which meet AdWords policy guidelines) at the ad group level. Up until last week, Google chose to display an advertiser’s sitelinks by the order in which they were added. Very scientific of Google.
“In the past, we simply used the order in which you entered your Sitelinks to rank which ones to serve. For example, while you could enter up to ten Sitelinks for a campaign, we primarily used the top four for any ad in the campaign (as long as they met our policy guidelines).” – Inside AdWords
With AdWords’ ad sitelinks new serving enhancement, sitelinks will be shown based on historical performance data, rotating in the sitelinks with the best CTR more often. While advertisers will continue to create sitelinks at the campaign level, performance data will be assessed at the ad group level. While this new serving enhancement is fantastic, AdWords still does not provide advertisers with the performance data for individual sitelinks. This lack of data is unfortunate, as advertiser’s currently have no way of knowing which sitelink is performing better, because the CTR is applied to the entire group of sitelinks and not at the individual link level.
In the meantime, at least AdWords is now rotating sitelinks into ads based on performance data, and here’s to hoping that sitelink level performance data will be the next update in Google’s line of ad sitelinks enhancements.