Alert: Google AdWords will automatically generate sitelinks based on your site’s content if you don’t create your own.
Discovered by Farhad Divecha and reported in the Google Partners Community, Google AdWords is automatically generating sitelinks for Google AdWords campaigns. The advertiser gets no notification of this or any opportunity to opt-in.
Google AdWords sitelinks are a great opportunity for AdWords advertisers to add greater depth to their ads and to direct users to content deeper within their website which they may find valuable.
Here’s an example of how Sitelinks are presented in a Google AdWords ad for the term, “SEO Portsmouth”:
The Sitelinks in this example are to our SEO Services page and the User Experience page deeper within the site which relate to the search query triggering the ad in the first place. The challenge with AdWords Automatic Sitelinks is that Google chooses which Sitelinks to show – it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ll be pages of content that you want to direct users to, or that produce a good conversion rate. You could easily end up increasing the cost per conversion and getting fewer sales or leads for your AdWords budget.
This issue is easily rectified – set up your own AdWords sitelinks manually.
Automated Extensions Report
To see if you’ve been affected by this issue, take a look at the Automated Extensions Report in your AdWords account.
The Automated Extension Report is located in the View dropdown in the Ad Extensions tab.
Automated Extensions cannot be removed within an AdWords account, but you can contact Google to opt out – or even opt back in.
AdWords Automatic Extensions
In 2015, Google retired the use of “Annotations” and replaced this with ‘Automatic Extensions’. These ‘Automatic Extensions’ do not require any setup and will automatically appear in your ad if it meets a certain criterion.
An example of an Automated Extension is a Social Extension – This will automatically display the number of Google+ followers the company has, for example.