Paid Search (PPC)

Google AdWords is now alerting searchers if they have visited your website previously.  The previous visits annotations  displays automatically and adds visitor history to that ad copy that displays without having to do any additional set-up on your account.

It will display like this, showing how many times you have previously visited the site, and when you last visited.Previous Visit Ad Extension

This additional information isn’t new, and AdWords first started displaying previous visitor activity in late 2013.

Google’s reasoning being previous visits extensions is quite simple:

“Ads that show previous visits help searchers find their way back to your site”

How Previous Visits Extensions Work In AdWords Ads

The first assumption is that a user must be logged into a Google account in order to trigger the previous visits extension.  The ad extension shows that the user has clicked through to your site previously from either paid and organic Google search results. The information will also show the last visit of the user as well as the number of times the site has been visited by the user:

In order for Google to show this information, the user must have clicked on a search result or text ad that has the same URL as the one visible in your ad.

Currently you are required to have clicked on an organic search result at least once or on a paid search ad at least twice for the ad extension to be automatically triggered.

Can You Manage Previous Visits Showing In Adwords Ads?

The answer, quite simply, is No.

Google’s current position is that this is an automated ad extension, and therefore it cannot be managed in the same way that you would control sitelinks, callout extensions, and other AdWords extensions. This lack of control makes it very difficult to manage the extension. But when it is shown, Google states that:

“AdWords shows previous visits with your ads when it predicts this will improve campaign performance”

Interestingly, there is currently no way to view the success or impact that the extension is having on your ads. It is therefore difficult to prove one way or the other the impact that the extra information is having on your ads.

How to Stop Previous Visit Annotations from Appearing

Google suggests that the extension will only be shown when they predict it will increase the click through rates of your ads. The advantages are that it shows more information to the user and also demonstrates that, assuming they had a good experience, your site is both trustworthy and secure. If the user is a previous customer of yours then the increased information on previous visits can only be a positive when it comes to increasing the chance of turning the customer into a repeat buyer.

That being said, there can be situations where the additional information is either not relevant or not appropriate. If you feel that this is appropriate to your business just fill out the form below and Google should disable the automated ad extension from your account:

Adwords opt out of previous visits annotations

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