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Responsive Search Ads to become the default on Google Ads

On 31 August 2021, Google announced changes to their search ad type. After 30 June 2022, Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) will become the only search ad type to be created or edited in search campaigns. Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) can continue serving on Google Ads, and we will still be able to pause and resume them. But new ones cannot be created, and existing ones cannot be edited.

Before ETAs are fully phased out, we shall start adopting RSAs by creating various headlines and descriptions. The system will automatically test different combinations, then learn and show which ad combinations perform best. This will save our time on reviewing and deciding which ones to use. Nevertheless, we cannot fully understand the performance of the different combinations, as only snapshots of ad strength and impressions of combinations are provided on Google. Thus, this new method will rely on advertisers’ trust in Google’s automation. To optimise conversion generation by Google’s machine learning, we suggest pairing broad match keywords and smart bidding with RSAs.

However, suppose you do not want to opt in for RSAs. In this case, there is still a workaround – through pinning your headlines and descriptions in the specific positions as you did for ETAs. Still, we believe that the system would prioritise RSAs with fewer position pins in headlines and descriptions as they would contribute more to Google’s machine learning. Yet, we believe ads in RSAs may not perform as well as in ETAs.

In general, no matter which type an ad is, it is always essential to create texts for your landing pages with highly relevant target keywords. Through this, you can deliver the right message to promote your business’s unique selling points with a strong call to action.

Google’s coming change is already observable. Recently, the platform has been pushing for automation, launching smart bidding strategies with conversion value rules. Also, according to a previous blog post on Google, Responsive Search Ads have been the default ad type for search campaigns in Google Ads since 18 February 2021. On the platform, the option of creating ETAs is hidden behind the option of creating RSAs, in an attempt to encourage advertisers to run RSAs. Undoubtedly, Google Ads is taking more control with their machine learning. With that, advertisers are having less control over campaign setups as the transparency of automation performance is lowered.

While we are getting familiar with the automation of Google Ads, we shall be expecting similar approaches to be adopted on other search engines since marketing automation is the trend across all online advertising platforms. At any rate, Microsoft Ads and Yahoo! JAPAN Search have already implemented the same changes to phrase match and broad match modifiers.

If you are looking for assistance with search engine marketing, feel free to reach out to our PPC team at [email protected].

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