How Microformats Can Make Your AdWords Campaign Stand Out

We’ve talked before both about making your paid search ads stand out from the crowd, and about using microformats to help organize content on your website. It appears that Google’s new “rich snippets” announcement has implications for paid search as well, giving advertisers the opportunity to leverage the new policy to differentiate their ads.

In this example, Google includes a plus-box below a ad, with product images and information pulled from microformatted tables on their product pages:
Products Plus Box

Much like the Google Checkout badge and the maps plus box, this isn’t something you can just turn on via AdWords; it’s a result of having your ad campaigns set up correctly, and Google crawling your website and determining that they’ll be providing users with a better experience by displaying additional content from your website (either letting users know that you support Google Checkout, or giving a preview of products related to your search).

This is yet another example of the importance of a holistic approach to online marketing; advertising should integrate not only searchability and online reputation, but site architecture as well. (For a more in-depth explanation of how Google uses information like microformats in the SERPS, check out their recent entry on the Google Webmaster Central Blog.)