top of page
  • Writer's picturegoogleadwordshero

PPC | PAID SEARCH | Google Responsive Search Ads: What you need to know

Updated: Jun 6, 2022

Article by Jenny Mallory

Learn the benefits of RSAs, how the transition from ETAs impacts you search strategy and how to write effective RSAs.

June 30 is almost here. That’s when Google will sunset expanded text ads (ETAs).

Google has given us a lot of time, advice and resources to prepare for the successor to ETAs – Responsive Search Ads (RSAs).

Are you ready? Read this guide for useful information and to understand how this transition may affect your paid search campaigns.

Details on the transition

Starting June 30, advertisers will no longer be able to create or edit ETAs in Google Ads.

However, existing ETAs will still be able to run alongside RSAs moving forward.

Advertisers will still have the ability to pause and resume these ads based on guidance from the reporting that Google Ads will continue to provide.

What are RSAs?

RSAs are responsive search ads. Advertisers upload multiple headlines and descriptions, then let Google’s machine learning optimize the ad versions in real-time. The goal is to increase engagement (click-through rate).

Google allows up to 15 different headlines and up to four different descriptions to be considered when creating the ad combinations shown in the search results.

Think of all the possibilities for Google’s machine learning to optimize ad messages. There are more than 43,000 different variations available to keep your messages fresh and keep the ad engagement on an uphill trajectory.

Over time, the system will customize the ad versions based on the user’s search behavior, device preferences and other signals to serve the right version at the right time. The result looks exactly like the ETAs and includes up to three headlines, two descriptions and a display URL.

Google initially introduced RSAs in beta in 2018 and continued to expose advertisers to the change.

Alerts throughout the Google Ads platform have appeared over the past several months. These alerts are typically shown while creating new or editing existing ads.

Benefits of RSAs

Yes, there are some drawbacks to this transition. For example, advertisers have less control over the ad combinations and low visibility into which combinations performed the best.

However, there are also reasons to get excited. Here are three big benefits:

  • You will save time. After the initial planning of the RSA, you will save the many hours of creation, testing and analysis that previously went into new versions of ETAs.

  • Performance will improve. Advertisers are already seeing improved click-through rates associated with RSAs. As the system optimizes and learns, click-through rates will increase, and the best-performing versions will be prioritized.

  • Optimization will happen in real-time. As the learning progresses, the system gets smarter at delivering top performers. This ensures ads will be more engaging to consumers and become more optimized as time goes on.

How does the transition affect search ad strategy?

Use the knowledge about what worked best from your ETAs and carry it over to RSAs.

All the work and testing you have done will pay off with this update.

You may believe that your best-performing ETAs will stop performing and you should pause them immediately. Not true.

Instead, you should continue running the best ETAs. Analyze their performance against RSAs in each ad group.

Now is the time to start thinking about all the headlines and descriptions you want to use in your RSAs. With Google doing the heavy lifting when it comes to combination optimization and testing, we need to give Google our most effective marketing messages.

Lack of control of the combinations requires some strategic planning and attention to what is possible.



PPC Consultant London, Google AdWords Consultant London, PPC Specialist London, AdWords Specialist London

Original artcle by Jenny Mallory on

3 views0 comments


Google AdWords Hero - To The Rescue!
bottom of page