Google has announced that starting from June 2022 it will be phasing out Expanded Text Ads, also known as ETAs. 

It is no surprise this announcement came after having transitioned the default ad creation type in the user interface from ETAs to Responsive Search Ads. Back when the transition occurred in February 2021, marketers speculated that this move would mark the beginning of the end of ETAs. Below is a screenshot of an ETA. 

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(Image Source: Google)

What does this mean? 

From 30 June 2022, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit ETAs. Advertisers with existing ETAs will be able to pause, reactivate, or remove the ad. It is good to note that editing ads are considered deletions with new ad creations, therefore it is unlikely edits will be possible. 

How does this change impact advertisers?

The idea of losing control can be daunting to advertisers, however, this will happen with the move towards RSAs. Previously advertisers would use ETAs to test ad messaging, which they would then use to inform RSAs. It is recommended to include a minimum of two ETAs and one RSA in each ad group. Now, Google is recommending advertisers to have one RSA in each ad group. 

The issue with having one RSA in each ad group is that it does not allow for granular performance breakdown. This is due to the nature of RSAs, which are automatically dense, pulling from several headlines and description lines. This would make it difficult for advertisers to identify which ad copy works compared to what does not work. 

How should advertisers prepare? 

It is recommended that advertisers test our various ETAs in the next few months. Adding in evergreen ETAs can be beneficial as once they are set up advertisers can continue testing even after Google has removed ETAs. 

Considering RSAs will be the new focus, advertisers should focus on testing and improving RSAs. In the case that ETAs are phased out completely in the future, advertisers should ensure RSAs are in every ad group and work to find out which ad copy works best for their industry. 

Why you should care

The phasing out of ETAs and the focus on RSAs indicate where Google is moving with machine learning and predictive marketing. With RSAs, machine learning will be used to predict which combination of titles and descriptions resonates best with the searcher. This is all based on historical data and other signals which are available at the time of the auction. If you thought Google has made enough changes, guess again. Google has provided a notice on Google My Business that informs you that your posts on Google My Business can appear on other Google services such as Maps and Search, as well as on third-party sites. Read all about it here.

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