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The Google advertising platform often undergoes changes, big and small. So it’s no surprise to advertisers that more changes are coming this summer. Google announced starting June 30, 2022, responsive search ads will be the only Search ad type that can be created or edited in standard Search campaigns. 

Meaning soon, you’ll no longer be able to create or edit expanded text ads. However, for now, advertisers will be able to pause or allow their existing expanded text ads to run. The writing is on the wall, and Code3 Search Strategists say they won’t be surprised to see this type of ad shut off fully in the future, although no official date has been announced. 

What’s an Expanded Text Ad?

Expanded text ads have been the dominant ad type for years among advertisers on Google as responsive search ads (RSA) weren’t around till 2018. A brand's advertisers create a few versions of expanded text ads within an Ad group and campaign and monitor performance of each individual text ad. This allowed for advertisers to pause low performing ads and focus budget on a champion ad. 

An expanded text ad allows advertisers to have more control over the 3 headline elements, 2 descriptions and URL.


How are Things Changing?

Expanded text ads will continue to serve, and you'll still see reports on their performance going forward. You will also be able to pause and resume your expanded text ads, or remove them if needed. However, you will not be able to create new or edit the copy of the existing ads. 

This change should spark a strategy revamp, and Code3 strategists recommend that text ads be transitioned to responsive ads as soon as possible. To start this process, create one responsive ad per ad group. Google has yet to announce when, or if, they may shut off expanded text ads altogether so we recommend to start preparing now. Ultimately, the goal is to simplify the way you create Search ads and make it easier for you to drive performance with our automated tools.”

Responsive ads will be leaning more into machine learning to keep up with consumer’s demands. They help you compete in a wider variety of relevant auctions by delivering ads that adapt to show the right message for the right search. This means that you can drive incremental conversions and create fewer ads by utilizing multiple headlines and descriptions.

With responsive search ads, you can create an ad that adapts to show more relevant messages to your customers. By entering multiple headlines and descriptions, Google automatically tests different variations and learns which combinations perform best. This machine learning, over time, will help your performance by matching the user’s search more closely to the ad.

To create effective responsive search ads, repurpose high-performing content from expanded text ads and focus on ad strength. By utilizing keywords within the landing page, you may be  able to improve your ad’s quality score from ‘poor’ to ‘excellent.’ Advertisers who improve ad strength for their responsive search ads from 'Poor' to 'Excellent' see 9% more clicks and conversions on average.

Evaluate ad performance based on incremental impressions, clicks, and conversions at a campaigns level. Keep in mind responsive search ads help you qualify for more auctions, so ad-level performance may not paint a full picture of your performance.Ad strength within the ad builder provides you with an assessment of the copy to help you focus on providing the right message. Ranging from “Incomplete”, “Poor”, “Average”, “Good” to “Excellent,” this metric measures the relevance and quality of your responsive ad and the copy that embodies it.

The Anatomy of a Responsive Search Ad:

You will still be required to include at least 3 headlines, but recommended to include more based on the keywords within the landing page to help the quality score. There is a maximum limit of 15. You do have the capability to pin a headline as well in a position. For example, we recommend pinning your company name into position 1, 2 or 3. 


Similar to the headlines anatomy, you will be required to add at least two descriptions. Like the headline element, you are encouraged to add more than 2 descriptions, maximum of 4, and the ability to lock them in a certain placement.

Code3 Strategist Tip: Locking or pinning a headline or description in place can affect your quality score negatively. We recommend using pinning/locking placements cautiously. Focus on locking your brand’s name into place.

Lastly, you will be required to add a final URL, driving to your desired landing page.



If you could use a strategic partner to help navigate the switch to responsive ads, reach out to Code3 today.


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