Some Google ads in positions 1-3 are being displayed differently by Google at the moment – description line 1 is shifting up next to the headline with a dash, leaving just description line 2 on the 2nd line. Google are testing this layout on a small proportion of impressions to identify the effect on CTRs and performance.
It’s not a beta that can be opted into rather Google are displaying some ads which meet the criteria that description line 1 ends in punctuation and is therefore a complete sentence in itself in this format. Ultimately, where only 1 ad in the top 3 appears longer, it does stand out but based on the content it can look a little messy, e.g.:
Another problem is that it leaves the body of the creative looking stunted at only 35 characters. Furthermore, most advertisers use description lines 1 and 2 as a unit (even where they are separate sentences) therefore moving up description line 1 could be a bit confusing where it does not follow very well from the headline.
Lastly, where more than 1 ad in the top 3 is displayed thus, it can enable them to blend more with the natural results:
If Google do roll this out they will fall in line with Yahoo’s 70 characters for headlines, however not Yahoo’s 70 characters for main body too. Also, if Google do not enable advertisers to write 70 character long headlines but leave it to be dependent on punctuation ending the first line, then advertisers will have to approach ad-writing differently.
Also made official now by Google.