Google is Phasing Out Expanded Text Ads: Everything You Need to Know

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On August 31 2021 Google announced that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) would be phased out. From July 2022 Responsive Search Ads will be the default ad type when creating ads for a Search campaign. It is the result of Google’s continued focus on automation through its ad products. 

Whilst advertisers have been aware of this potential change for some time now, there are still a fair few questions that have been raised. Here is everything you need to know:

Why are Responsive Search Ads becoming the default?

Previously, there have been concerns that advertisers will have less control over their campaigns. However, Google has largely highlighted their favour towards automation. With responsive search ads, the right message is displayed depending on the query. As a result, RSAs allow you to compete in a wider range of relevant auctions. In addition to campaign flexibility, Google believes algorithms can improve campaign performance in terms of clicks and conversions.   

Will ETAs be deleted?

Google has advised that after June 30 2022, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit ETAs. However, existing expanded text ads will still be available to pause and resume. You will also still be able to access reports on their results moving forward. 

What does this mean for advertisers?

When advertisers now go to create a new ad, there will be the option of creating a Responsive Search Ad or a Call Ad. Google has provided recommendations on setting up RSAs:

  • Evaluate your high-performing content from current ETAs and repurpose them to focus on Ad strength. 
  • Investigate your accounts recommendations page and make necessary changes in order to improve RSAs.
  • If you have certain messages that need to be shown within your ads, pin these headlines or descriptions to specific positions within your RSA.
  • Test different versions of your assets at scale by using ad variations. This will allow you to review their performance across multiple platforms.
  • RSAs help you qualify for more auctions. Therefore, ad-level performance and metrics such as clickthrough rate and conversion rate may not give you the best indication of campaign success. Instead, evaluate performance based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions your campaigns receive. 

Syllabus Bent, Product Manager, Google Ads advised, “To prepare for this change, we recommend that you have at least one responsive search ad in every ad group in your Search campaigns by June 30, 2022. Check out the Help Center to learn more about how to use responsive search ads and features like ad customizers, to improve performance.”

The Key Takeaways:

  • Responsive Search Ads are replacing Expanded Text As as the default campaign type in Google Ads.
  • Existing ETAs will still run as normal and be accessible to report on. 
  • This change is the result of Google making a push towards automation. 
  • After June 30, 2022 you will no longer be able to create or edit Expanded Text Ads.