Expanded Text Ads will be Sunset on June 30, 2022

Google is ending support for the creation and editing of Expanded Text Ads on June 30, 2022. Responsive Search Ads will be the new standard.

ETA's to be replaced with RSA's

Nearly a year ago, Google announced the end of Expanded Text Ads, and that support for the creation and editing of ETA’s would end on June 30, 2022.

As of this writing, that means you have 2 weeks.

Starting July 1st, any ETA’s in your account will still be eligible to run, and you can pause/unpause ETA’s, but you’ll no longer be able to make any updates. After that, advertisers will only have the option to create Responsive Search Ads.

(Side note: Microsoft Advertising is also sunsetting their Expanded Text Ads on August 29, 2022.)

How Should You Prepare for the end of ETA's?

Google Ads is going all in with their Responsive Search Ads as the future of their platform. Each RSA you can have up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions, and for each eligible search, Google will select up to 3 headlines and 2 descriptions that best matches the user’s query.

Essentially, one RSA equates to thousands of ETA’s simply due to the number of possible combinations and variations.

To get ready for the end of ETA’s, here are some suggested steps:

  • If you’ve truly tested an ETA and have fantastic ad copy, you can:
    • Keep your ETA running (until Google kills ETAs completely sometime in the future), or
    • Create an RSA and “pin” certain headlines/descriptions to recreate an ETA with the RSA ad type.
  • If you don’t have an ETA you need to save:
    • Use some high performing headlines/descriptions to create new RSAs for each ad group, and
    • Pause/Remove ETAs and lean into the future of an RSA only world.

There are many benefits (and some drawbacks) to switching to RSA’s, but with the right strategy and thoughtful implementation, campaigns that utilize RSA’s have a chance to really shine.

Pinning certain elements, testing ad variations, pairing with smart bidding, using broad(er) match keywords than might not have been used before… The future of Google Ads is leaning into automation, and RSA’s benefit from a lot of it.

Part of a Bigger Picture?

The world of digital marketing and the tools we use continue to change and evolve at a very rapid pace. Strategies that were considered best practices just a year ago are being deprecated, and trusted tactics are no longer viable.

The end of Expanded Text Ads might not have a massive impact on campaigns, but it’s another piece of a much larger narrative coming from Google and other advertising platforms.

Control is being taken from advertisers, and we’re asked to trust the black box algorithms and rely on machine learning.

In theory, it’s the right move – create one RSA that can serve and perfectly match 1000’s of search queries with an endless A/B test of headlines and descriptions. However, the system isn’t perfect, and you need to be careful.

Be aware of what’s changing, what your giving up, and what you’re getting in return. Put guardrails in place to protect  yourself, and your business, but don’t hold yourself back from new opportunities just because things are new and uncertain.

What this Means for you

You need to create at least one RSA per ad group if you haven’t already.

You can keep an ETA if it’s been tested, vetted, and proven to be successful. Otherwise, it’s time to move on – let go of the past and embrace the future of RSA’s.

You need to learn how RSA’s work in order to analyze performance and to make sure the very fluid nature of RSA’s don’t lead to weird messaging combinations.

Moving from ETA to RSA might not make massive waves on it’s own, but it may be a good time to start looking at how it could benefit from a new campaign setup.