Google recently announced yet another fundamental change to their paid search advertising product – the discontinuation of Expanded Text Ads.
NB: This is an article from gcommerce
Right now, there are a few different ad types available on Google Ads. Each ad type is automated in some way, but Expanded Text Ads offer some of the most direct control available on the entire platform.
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Expanded Text Ads allow advertisers to choose a particular combination of headlines and descriptions to show up in a search, providing a great opportunity for very specific messaging and branding. However, creating and editing Expanded Text Ads will no longer be supported as of June 30, 2022.
With Expanded Text Ads disappearing, search marketers will now have to focus their efforts on Dynamic and Responsive Search Ads. These ad types still allow marketers to write copy and choose messaging to some extent, but the opportunity is smaller than that of Expanded Text Ads. These more automated ad types remove the ability to choose exact combinations of copy, relying far more heavily on machine learning and other AI in the interest of improved ad performance.
But is it actually worth it?
Based on this sample of our client data, it seems like more automated ad types do indeed perform better in almost every way. Even when Expanded Text Ads perform the best, they aren’t very far ahead. With this information, it’s easy to understand why Google is moving away from Expanded Text Ads. Even if the platform pushes Responsive Ads more often, the interaction rates between these two types are pretty similar. Since Google is already interested in automation, the performance of Expanded Text Ads likely isn’t significant enough to keep them around.
However, it’s impossible to predict how this decision will actually affect performance in the long run. Maybe we’ll see a massive boost for Responsive Search Ads without the added competition of new Expanded Text Ads. Maybe users will see lower returns until Google’s AI learns how to deal with the new landscape. Maybe there won’t be a significant change at all, and we’re all just overreacting.
In any case, marketers have no control over the decision. This will be an adjustment for all of us, and reactions have been sort of a mixed bag.
Here’s what our search marketing team has to say about the upcoming Google Ads update:
“New standards and best practices will emerge as the industry figures out how to manipulate Responsive Search Ads effectively. It’s just a matter of keeping up with the changing landscape.”
– Cat Jones
“I’m pretty excited about what this means for the future. Change is the backbone of marketing, and this is just another opportunity for us to flex our problem-solving skills and adapt to the unknown.”
– Ashley Scharpf
“The removal of Expanded Text Ads is an exciting new challenge. Advertisers will have to explore the best ways to optimize Responsive Search Ads, allowing for more variables and opportunities for testing.”
– Mike Orrison
“I think this is just the latest in a long trend from Google. Learning how multiple Responsive Search Ads interact within a singular ad group should be something all search marketers explore and test as Expanded Text Ads are phased out.”
– Patrick Buckner
“The only concerns I have are the lack of robust reporting and slightly less control that come with Responsive Search Ads. I’m hoping that Google will continue to build out its reporting capabilities prior to the sunsetting of Expanded Text Ads in 2022.”
– Lisa McGivney
“Responsive Search Ads have always been a means of testing new headlines and descriptions, and they’ve provided valuable knowledge as to what works and what doesn’t. If control becomes a challenge, we can still implement qualities of Expanded Text Ads in our Responsive Search Ads.”
– Alex Horrocks
“If needed, we can force Expanded Text Ads into a Responsive Search Ad by pinning specific headlines and descriptions. Unless the pinning function goes away or changes, I can’t disagree. The change gives us more options and ways to test all at once; I guess we’ll see how it all goes in 2022.”
– Jael Dugdale
We can speculate about the future, but no one knows for sure what the upcoming Google Ads update will mean for the industry. This isn’t the first time Google has made a move towards automation, but every new change brings new challenges.