The Threadgill Agency | Google Sunsetting Expanded Text Ads | The Threadgill Agency
You will no longer be able to run Expanded Text Ads in your Google Ads campaigns. Responsive Search Ads will be the primary Ad Type. Prepare for the update
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Google Sunsetting Expanded Text Ads, Are You Prepared?

Google Sunsetting Expanded Text Ads, Are You Prepared?

Adapt Your RSA Strategy as ETAs Sunset in Mid-2022


With Google’s heads up that Expanded Text Ads (ETAs) are sunsetting at the end of June 2022, paid search marketers need to start honing their Response Search Ad (RSA) strategy today. 

“Now is the time to test your Expanded Text Ads, so you can go into this transition armed with information about what resonates best with your customers,” said Mat Threadgill of The Threadgill Agency. “It’s the perfect time for fact-finding before ETAs phase out.”

Why is Google making the change? Speed — they conclude that Google Ads machine learning and AI automate the process more quickly by sorting headlines and descriptions to best match searchers’ intent. They do the legwork by sifting through ad copy from a bucket of options (RSAs) instead of specific messaging created by advertisers in ETAs. It reduces the manual labor and time that marketers spend on ad creation and split testing. One drawback, however, is there may be less insight on what specific RSA impressions are truly converting.

In this article, we’ll:

  • Define the difference between ETAs and RSAs
  • How to use ETAs in the final months
  • How to optimize RSAs moving forward


ETAs Versus RSAs: What’s the Difference?

Expanded Text Ads

Responsive Search Ads

  • Sunsets June 30, 2022 — can’t create new ETAs, but can continue to run previous ones (with pause/unpause feature)
  • Becomes new Google Ad standard after June 30, 2022
  • Includes 3 specific headlines and 2 descriptions
  • Includes up to 15 unique headlines and 4 descriptions
  • Allows A/B testing of specific headline/description messaging
  • Uses automation for search results from the bucket of headline/description options, displaying 3 of 15 provided headlines and 2 of 4 descriptions
  • Ad creator has control over how ad is rendered to user (urls, landing pages, headlines, CTAs, descriptions)
  • Google Ads optimizes ads based on CTR
  • Google insights shows which specific ETAs convert
  • Google insights don’t show which assets/combos are driving conversions


What to Do with Your ETAs

Most likely, you’re currently running both ETAs and RSAs simultaneously as Google Ads recommends running both for marketing best practices. Now is the time to gather intelligence based on your ETAs and apply that knowledge moving forward. Here are a few tips:

  • Continue creating ETAs — This may surprise you, but current ETAs will exist after the sunset with an enable/pause function. You won’t be able to create new ones, but reasonably plan for the future with expanded text ads that you can test. Don’t spend all of your energy creating new ETAs, but there’s no need to abandon them just yet.
  • Review high-performing ETAs to inform your RSA strategy — With RSAs, you’ll be able to somewhat control the messaging with the pinning function (see below for more). Use your ETA insights to help build solid RSAs.
  • Ensure compliance language moving forward — Review your ETAs for required legal language and make note of it for RSA creation.
  • Keep testing ETAs — Gather valuable data on what headlines, descriptions, and CTAs convert.


RSA Strategy Moving Forward

The good news: Creating RSAs isn’t all that different from ETAs and are built from the same basic structure of headlines, descriptions, and character limits. You may have less control over the results, but you can still drive and test your messaging.

  • Save your current ETAs — Export ETAs as a CSV file to start building new RSAs. Even if you need to add more text, you have a good starting point.
  • Pin strategically, but don’t overdo it — Pinning certain headlines or descriptions in your RSA allows advertisers some control over messaging. If you have a specific discount running, pin that text. Certain industries should pin required legal, disclaimer, and compliance language.
  • Test pinned and unpinned RSAs — Pinning might limit the number of combinations Google generates, however; therefore it may be wise to test pinned and unpinned versions of the same messaging to see what makes the most impressions.
  • Use RSA best practices — You can improve ad performance by following Google’s RSA best practices, including using the maximum number of headlines and descriptions, making them distinct from each other, and including popular keywords. You can view the Ad Strength report in Google ads to evaluate your ad.


As RSAs become the new standard, Google reports that advertisers who switch from ETAs to RSAs see 7% more conversions at a similar cost per conversion. As ETAs phase out, its likely that reporting for RSAs will continue to improve and you’ll see a steady decrease in ETA impressions. Want a rundown of what creating and testing ETAs and RSAs looks like behind the Google Ads curtain? Check out this 11-minute video by Loves Data.