Expanded text ads which are available through Google Ads appear in search results on Google. Unlike display ads, these search ads show up on sites within Google’s advertising network. The major purpose with an expanded text ad is that you can create three headlines, two descriptions, and a display URL. Google makes reforms and changes with Google Ads policies from time and time and one such announcement pertaining to ETAs has happened recently. You will no longer be able to create Expanded Text Ads starting 30, June 2022.
Advertisers had begun to speculate this move much ahead of its official announcement, since the default ad creation type in the UI from ETAs to Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) was transitioned in February and this announcement came soon after that.
Why Is Google Making This Change?
Google explains that the goal of this change is to ensure that the “right message” always shows up. This can happen only by dynamically creating ads at the time-of-auction to respond to specific search queries.
This step by Google might take control out of advertisers’ hands and put it on Google’s. Advertisers are afraid of this anticipation and are of the opinion that better conversion performance, specifically better CPLs happen with Expanded Text Ads than Responsive Search Ads.
What Does This Change Mean?
Advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads starting from 30 June 2022 and the existing expanded text ads will be paused, reactivated, and removed.
As an advertiser, you should also bear in mind that with this change happening, edits to ads will be considered deletions and so edits are likely to not be possible with new ad creation.
What Impact Will This Have on Advertisers?
In the change that is going to happen starting from 30 June, 2022, advertisers will lose some control with the move toward RSAs. Previously, advertisers used ETAs to test messaging, which they then used to inform RSAs.
Previously, the best practice recommendations were to include at least 2 ETAs and 1 RSA in each ad group. But now, Google is recommending advertisers have 1 RSA in each ad group.
The nature of RSAs is such that it doesn’t allow for granular performance breakdowns and this can be problematic. This makes it harder for advertisers to know exactly what copy is working and what isn’t.
There has been better performance from ETAs than RSAs and hence, this could certainly have performance implications for advertisers.
What Should Advertisers Do With Regard?
Advertisers can probably plan to add some evergreen ETAs that they can use in the future. Also, consider setting up some additional ads that can be continued to testing even after adding new ETAs is disabled.
As an advertiser, you should also focus on testing and improving RSAs. And just in case that ETAs are completely retired in the future, ensure that every ad group has an RSA and work to find out which copy lines work best for your organization.
Unfortunately, on a broader scale this change seems to mark a trend that could turn lack of control for advertisers. As advertisers are relying much on Google Adwords for the online promotion of their website or brand, ETAs were definitely an added feature to it. But, with this new announcement, advertisers are still wondering and trying to figure out how it could actually affect them.