October 14, 2021 by Octavia Drexler | 6 min reading time

Starting on June 30, 2022, Google will no longer support Expanded Text Ads (ETAs). This message doesn’t come as a shock to some advertisers - with all of the updates Google is rolling out, it’s no surprise that ETAs are the next thing to go. While this was an expected update for some marketers, it’s still another thing that marketers have to work around. There is a solution for getting around these restrictions, however, which means that marketers won’t have to scramble to learn new software or reconfigure their ad campaigns. 

What are Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)? 

According to Microsoft, Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) are a useful feature that enables marketers to craft long ad copy while at the same time allowing for engagement with potential customers. These ads work on mobile devices (no matter the operating system), tablets, and desktop devices, giving marketers a way to advertise to all kinds of users. 


ETAs are a great way to create more conversions - with long ad copy, users get a better understanding of what your product is about so that they can make informed purchasing decisions. This is more likely to create a conversion because customers are trusting your brand instead of going into a purchase blind. 

Expanded Text Ads vary widely from standard text ads, giving your customers more information than they normally would have. For the Ad Title, standard text ads only allow 25 characters. It becomes difficult to efficiently advertise your product with such a limited amount of characters. With Expanded Text Ads, 90 characters are supported. This allows for three headlines with up to 30 characters each. 

When it comes to Ad Text, standard text ads only support 71 characters. It’s difficult to be succinct as it is, but 71 characters aren’t enough to adequately advertise your product. Expanded Text Ads support 180 characters, which is long enough to inform your audience but short enough so that potential customers don’t click away. 

The Display URL can also be optimized to reach a wide variety of clients. For standard text ads, URLs are only 35 characters, but they have to be manually inputted, which can be annoying and full of errors. Expanded text ads, however, automatically generate a domain and subdomain using your final URL. Not only will your URL be mistake-free, but you can make sure that these URLs will be optimized for the greatest conversion. 

Why Will ETAs No Longer Be Allowed? 

Expanded Text Ads seem so helpful, so why is Google getting rid of it? Google believes in making it easier to show the right message on Search.” Google is increasingly relying on automation, which is why Responsive Search Ads are taking the place of ETAs. According to Google, Responsive search Ads allow marketers to combine creativity with machine learning so as to show more relevant ads to relevant people. Google boasts that using Responsive Search Ads will give marketers up to a 7% increase in conversion rates. 

Responsive Search Ads work in a similar way to Expanded Text Ads in that users can enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad. What makes Responsive Search Ads different, however, is Google’s use of automation, which automatically tests different keyword combinations in order to learn which combinations do the best. By doing this, Google makes it easy for your ad content to match customer search terms, which in term will improve a campaign’s performance in the long run. 

Further, Google boasts that Responsive Search Ads are better than Expanded Text Ads because RSAs allow for flexibility on various devices. Your ads will adapt to a device’s measurements, meaning you get more room to share your message. Responsive Search Ads are, in Google’s opinion, also more efficient and time-saving due to the use of automation. Because Google can provide users with multiple headlines and description options, based on what is most relevant to your customers, you will not only save time but you will also start to get a feel of what keywords/ word groups will create the largest conversion. 

Responsive search ads also allow users to tailor headlines and descriptions to customer locations or locations of interest, which makes it perfect for customers on the go. Plus, Responsive Search Ads give users the opportunity for further competition in auctions and match queries. 

How Does Expanded Text Ads Sunset Affect Advertisers? 

Some advertisers are not happy with Google’s decision to get rid of Expanded Text Ads in favor of Responsive Search Ads. These marketers believe that Google is taking control away from advertisers and putting it back into Google’s hands. Though controversial, the final choice is ultimately Google’s, which means the rest of us have to adapt. 

There is still a long time before this new policy goes into effect. Between now and then, other marketers are suggesting that testing should be the number one priority so that when the June deadline comes, there won’t be any learning curve when Responsive Search Ads come into play. 

Marketers and Google Ads experts are also suggesting that those who are using expanded text ads keep them running until the deadline. Pinning is also seen by some to be a solution to Google's automation. According to some, Google’s pinning feature makes it possible to replicate ETAs while using the Responsive Search Ads system. However, there is fear that Google will soon replace the pinning feature as Google makes the change towards more and more automation. 

Conclusion

Expanded Text Ads will disappear in June of 2022. Though this has come to be expected by some marketers, it’s still another change that marketers have to work around, and not every marketer or ad campaign manager can dedicate time to learning the ins and outs of ETAs and RSAs. 

Hopefully, this won’t affect ad campaigns too much. Google boasts that getting rid of ETAs will lead to more conversions, but until the change is implemented, that claim remains to be seen. What do you think? Do you think Google is right to go the automation route, or would you rather have more choice as a marketer?