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Compulsory shift to Responsive Search Ads coming in June

31 Mar 2022


At the end of June, Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) will become the only ad format that can be created or edited in Google Ads search campaigns.


This means we’ll no longer be able to create or edit Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) in Google Ads campaigns. ETAs feature three non-dynamic headlines and two non-dynamic description lines and have been the standard ad format, which we usually run two–three of in each ad group for A/B testing purposes.



What are Responsive Search Ads?

Responsive Search Ads instead utilise Google’s machine learning technology to test various combinations of the multiple headlines (up to 15) and descriptions (up to 4) we input when creating them. N.B: RSAs are still displayed like ETAs in search results, with (up to) three headlines and two description lines.


RSAs were initially seen as a loss of control and met with resistance from the digital marketing community. However, through improvements in the machine learning and industry-wide testing, we’re happy to say we can still actively control RSAs at the headline and description level, employing Google’s machine learning as a testing tool to help improve campaign performance.



How are we transitioning our clients to Responsive Search Ads?

In anticipation for the switch, we’ve been adding RSAs to our client’s campaigns in recent months and aim to have one in every eligible ad group before the end of June. Where client input is needed to adapt existing ETA messaging to new RSAs, we have been contacting clients individually to liaise with them.



What do I need to do?

If you’re a Limelight client and have any questions around RSAs or your Google Ads in general, please get in touch. You can also read more about RSAs, here.


If you’re not an existing client but would like to be, learn about our Google Ads services and get in touch.


Written by
Josh Casserly is one of our Digital Marketers and, as a well-travelled wordsmith, Josh combines his aptitude for engaging content with his ever-expanding digital marketing skill set.

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