Google Plans to Do Away with Expanded Text Ads


In the digital marketing world, we know things are always evolving and changing. However, not all of the changes that are brought to the table are so graciously accepted, and Google Ads’ new updates aren’t free from the recent influx of frustration following their fresh announcement. 

Advertisers and other marketers who currently use Google Ads for either clients or even their own business will no longer be able to compose any new, nor alter existing Expanded Text Ads beginning June 30, 2022. Google will be shifting its focus to have advertisers use their Responsive Search Ads instead. As an outsider, this might not seem like a big deal, however, to get a better understanding of users’ frustrations, let’s first break down the differences between these two types of ads. 

What Are Expanded Text Ads? How Beneficial Are They? 

Google’s Expanded Text Ads have been around since the second quarter of 2016. Expanded text ads maximize performance and reach on mobile search results by using a larger headline and more character space for descriptions. These types of ads expand on the mobile-first mindset and allow the advertiser to tailor to multiple audiences and platforms while still being able to easily transfer the content to a desktop platform.

Responsive Search Ads: What Are They & Why Does Google Prefer Them?

Google’s Responsive Search ads, similar to the expanded text ads, allow for more text to show for each ad which, in turn, increases CTR (click-through rate). But, responsive ads differ in the overall combination and automation possibilities. Advertisers are able to add up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions per responsive search ad. Google then tests headline and description variations together to find the best performing combinations. The responsibility of ad formulation and testing is out of your hands and is put in Google’s – and since Google favors its own algorithm and data, this is Google’s preferred method.

Will Google Ads’ New Updates Be Affecting You?

With this recent news of the shift away from expanded text ads and solely utilizing Google’s Responsive Search Ads, there are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the future impact of your ads:

  • If you are looking for more granular data and an in-depth reporting approach, this might leave you feeling a little uneasy, as Google’s automation process doesn’t allow for full transparency and control in which ads are/are not performing well.
  • Provided that you might already have a large number of expanded text ads, you might want to consider re-organizing the ads that you already have and transforming them into the Responsive Ad setup in order to not lose the content, keywords, and format.
  • When it comes to the performance of your ads, ETAs have historically performed better than that of their RSA counterparts, leaving some gray area of what ad copy is working the absolute best for each ad and/or ad group. 

In Summary

A majority of the frustration and worry by marketers is in large part due to the amount of work that they might have to do to keep their ad copy. However, Google Ads’ new updates will be providing advertisers with a variety of possible ad combinations without all of the heavy lifting. Moving forward, creating new ads in order to continue testing is a possible option that you might want to consider – even after the official move away from expanded text ads – to make the most of the responsive search ads Google is pushing you to use. Additionally, Google Ads users should still be focusing on improving the ads that they are currently showing. By focusing on testing your responsive search ads, you can work to create your own, more granular data to see which lines of copy work best for your business. This recommendation should be highly considered and will be best practice in case Google’s expanded text ads are gone for the long haul. 

These are just a few of the ideas and recommendations to consider prior to the change Google will be implementing come the end of June next year. Top Floor has experience in creating quality PPC campaigns for clients for over 20 years. We are here to help ensure that you are getting the most out of your campaigns and see a continual improvement in engagement. Check us out and see how we can help your business excel within the creative marketing space.