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Google Ads To Shift From Expanded Text Ads To Responsive Search Ads In 2022

Google Ads To Shift From Expanded Text Ads To Responsive Search Ads In 2022

15-09-2021Tags: PPC

Google have announced that from next June it will drop support for Expanded Text Ads & shift to Responsive Search Ads.

According to Google this update will assist PPC advertisers by "Making it easier to show the right message on Search". This article will explore what this shift means to your PPC advertising.

Google To Drop Support for Expanded Text Ads & Shift to Responsive Search Ads

From June 30, 2022 advertisers will no longer be able to create expanded text ads. This ad format will continue to serve (for the time being until inevitably they are removed completely), & advertisers will still see reports on their performance, have the option to pause & resume them, or remove them completely. But you will not be able to create new expanded text ads.

After next June the only Search ad type that can be created or edited will be responsive search ads.

Google state this will, "make it easier for you to drive performance with our automated tools."

They announced:

Starting from 30 June 2022, responsive search ads will be the only search ad type that can be created or edited in standard search campaigns. This change will help simplify the way that you create search ads and make it easier for you to drive performance with our automated tools.

What Are Responsive Search Ads?

As Google describe, “Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text – and more relevant messages – to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best. By adapting your ad’s content to more closely match potential customers’ search terms, responsive search ads may improve your campaign’s performance.”

Simply, advertisers create multiple versions of headlines & descriptions & Google automatically test different combinations to learn which combinations perform best.

Google states, "After you enter headlines and descriptions, Google Ads assembles the text into multiple ad combinations in a way that avoids redundancy, different from expanded text ads, you can provide up to 15 headlines and four descriptions for a single responsive search ad. Next, in any given ad, a maximum of three headlines and two descriptions will be selected to show in different combinations and orders. Over time, Google Ads will test the most promising ad combinations, and learn which combinations are the most relevant for different queries."

In theory, the more headlines & descriptions created, the more opportunities Google has to serve ads that match your audience's searches & improve ad performance. But an argument could be, whilst Google are using their AI to discover which ads to display to improve ad performance, they'll also be showing ads that don't improve performance. Whilst this has always been the case with responsive search ads, previously advertisers had the opportunity to create new expanded search ads to test performance against responsive ads. Moving forward, this will not be the case.

Retaining Some Control Over Ad Text

By default once live, responsive headlines & descriptions can appear in any order. However advertisers can control where individual headlines & descriptions appear in your ad by pinning headlines & descriptions to specific positions.

For example you can pin your key ad messaging in Headline position 1, or you can ensure you retain a natural flow of an ads' content by pining your call to action text in Description position 2.

Why Have Google Done This?

According to Google, this shift is to simplify ad creation & make it easier to achieve your advertising objectives. 

Google said, "Responsive search ads help you compete in a wider variety of relevant auctions by delivering ads that adapt to show the right message for the right query. This means that you can drive incremental conversions and create fewer ads—all while spending more time on strategic initiatives for your business."

To demonstrate the increased performance of responsive search ads, they added, "advertisers that switch from expanded text ads to responsive search ads, using the same assets, see an average of 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion."

How Has This Announcement Been Received?

There has certainly been a mixed reaction within the Google advertising community. Many feel this shift away from expanded text ads was inevitable but there remains scrutiny over an advertisers control over their ads. Certain industries may need their ads to follow a strict order (especially the medical industry) & therefore removing the ability to categorically state what position each headline & description is in could be damaging. 

This is why advertisers are hopeful that Google doesn't remove the option to pin headlines & descriptions in set positions within the ad.

What Next?

Whilst the option to create or edit expanded text ads doesn’t end until 30 June 2022, Google have stated they strongly encourage the transition to responsive search ads starting now. This makes sense to start the process as soon as possible to ensure ads are working  efficiently ahead of the June 2022 cut off.

If you need to discuss your text ad options or how you'll handle the transition to responsive search ads, please get in touch with us today.


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