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Welcome happy readers! This week’s PPCChat discussion was focused on the latest announcements from Google regarding sunsetting ETAs by 30th June 2022. Host Julie F Bacchini sought PPCers view on this recent announcement, how are they preparing themselves, any advice they want to give regarding Responsive Search Ads, and more.

Q1: With Google Ads announcing that expanded text ads (ETAs) will no longer be able to be created as of June 2022 – what are your thoughts/feelings?

My thoughts are (as usual) why is this mandatory? how in the actual #&*@! do they expect this to work smoothly across all industries? gross! @JuliaVyse

My conspiracies are all becoming true. Google is taking control from the advertiser…again, and not providing sufficiently granular enough data to back up their approach. @JonKagan

Not surprised, but with this change, @GoogleAds definitely needs to give more data on individual ad elements (beyond simply impressions) so we can know how to improve the inputs we submit for RSAs @PPCKirk

ETAs going away is a nightmare for heavily regulated industries. It’s hard enough to explain ETAs to legal depts – RSAs are impossible and often won’t get approved. Could be a deal breaker for some businesses unless we pin all headlines & descr @beyondthepaid

I’m not surprised – the writing has been on the wall for about a year now, especially as RSAs became the “default” in campaign setup + ETAs were buried. @DigitalSamIAm

Why does @GoogleAds feel like they have to cram ad copy testing into the black box? Ad testing was great for getting customer insights and with existing reporting capabilities that will virtually disappear. @robert_brady

Never a dull moment in SEM… @dan_patterson

I’ve been all in on the AI for a while so I am pretty happy to not have to worry about the “old way” for too much longer. Just need to get my pinning strategy in place. @jimbanks

I am certainly not surprised by this announcement but bummed it is actually happening. Effectively will end testing, which sucks. And it is not feasible for all clients (compliance). Seriously hoping reporting expands otherwise, really not good. @NeptuneMoon

That being said, I think this change is a HUGE opportunity for smart PPC pros. @DigitalSamIAm

So…who has an ad copy template already ready? mine is okay, but…@JuliaVyse

Hopefully, they will roll out more data to make understanding the impact of different headlines and descriptions possible. But I won’t hold my breath just yet…@dan_patterson

End of ETAs Isn’t this just another little twist in the way the interface constantly changes and in the way Google optimizes outcome from the media+budget+marketer equation? Google Ads is a game of constant change. @soanders

This is exactly where my head went. Try working in real estate, consumer healthcare, law, basically any regulated industry and use RSAs. It sucks because you need to overly work them and customize them into submission. Not cool @timmhalloran

Not surprise but at the same time RSA is not helping to convey the message which we can actually happen to do in ETA… @cmshah93

It’s a huge indication that if you are not using RSAs currently, now is the time to start testing them in your existing structure and including in new builds. For the highly regulated industries and practitioners with very strict copy guidelines, I feel for you. @BrettBodofsky

The more they can cut the agencies out of the chain the better – keep slowly reducing the options and we can all be in auto apply heaven soon @ZaddleMarketing

Echoing other… hard for those in highly regulated industries. We have been running RSA and ETAs in combo for a bit now – so hopefully won’t be too jarring for us. @Galliguez

We all knew this day would come since last year. I bet if COVID didn’t happen… it would have been gone this year instead. Change is constant. @duanebrown

Personally, I wish ETAs could continue to be created in the same manner. But maybe with all data pushing towards one RSA we could get some more clarity on which components are performing best…@BrettBodofsky

Q2: Is there anything you’re doing or planning to do to prepare for this change? (It is nice that we have a long horizon to prepare for this at least).

We’re starting to work on redoing compliance templates. @beyondthepaid

Besides my additional angry letter writing efforts? Likely create RSA’s with just minimum and nearly identical headlines/descriptions as a really unnecessary and petty way to tell google I will not comply. @JonKagan

Yes. adjusting templates and telling clients about it now. It helps that we do a lot of types of ads, so the asset-based approach feels like Locals, App, and Discovery campaigns. Not so all the way new. @JuliaVyse

Expecting this, we’ve already made it a habit to include one RSA + 2 ETAs in every ad group, except in the cases where it was clear to utilize ETAs only for whatever reason. We’ll begin transitioning each account to RSAs Q1 2021, post holidays @PPCKirk

I’m already running RSAs in all my ad groups in preparation for this. If you’re not, I’d suggest starting to or doing what you need to be able to. Test those ETAs for as long as you can to get data to use for RSAs too. @NeptuneMoon

We ensure all new builds are launched with ETAs and RSAs, so just continuing to monitor the combinations that arise and making corrections if anything funky comes about @BrettBodofsky

Gonna be testing my pinning theories much more. And writing some awesome ETAs to keep fighting past the sunset. @robert_brady

Continue to test RSA. Set expectations with new clients in the near future. This change could impact account performance in either direction. Similar when we went from STA to ETA. @duanebrown

Our crew MacGyvered a sheet that shows all possible H combinations, to detect things which if unpinned, would be embarrassing:… Feel free to use. @heyglenns

Continuing to warehouse the historical Google Ads ad data using Google Cloud Data Transfer –… Can then analyze which on RSA ads have done well and train the RSA’s with those elements. @jimbanks

Preparing for the end of ETAs Not specifically. We continuously optimize campaigns and update the way we work, so I am guesshoping this will just enter the flow. @soanders

That’s been our MO in-house here as well…@Galliguez

Probably not. Not the same thing as when they changed from standard to expanded but sort of the same. We’ll just move things over in current and new accounts more and more. It’ll change the way we test stuff too though, that’ll be a bigger change @timmhalloran

Q3: What is your best piece of advice regarding responsive search ads (RSAs) since they will be the only option in less than a year?

Don’t try to do everything at once. Keep your messages consistent, and remember we’re still dealing with ad groups and keyword themes (for now).@JuliaVyse

Learn to love reading mystery novels. @JonKagan

Best piece of advice for RSAs Yeah, I am listening. If someone has a methodology for building these for meaningful results, I want it. I find RSAs frustrating, so I get someone more patient to create them for me. @soanders

Have columns in a spreadsheet with the “style” of each headline, then play about with different ways to say those headlines. Ensure you’re not replicating similar headlines across multiple headlines in the same RSA #ppcchat (forgot to add the #) @ZaddleMarketing

Don’t let G Ads pressure in the ad creation process make you make bad choices. It wants more, more, more headlines!!!! Make sure you have good ones, don’t just write them to fill the lines it keeps adding! @NeptuneMoon

You don’t HAVE to max out the full available number of headlines and descriptions. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should or need to @timothyjjensen

Being mindful of pinning is super important. You want your ad to be easy to read and understand. For example, you wouldn’t necessarily want your CTA headlines to be able to show in h2 and h3 at the same time… would you? @BrettBodofsky

Q4: It was shared that your RSA “ad strength” rating does not impact quality score, but does it impact performance in your experience?

Not across the board, but in some cases yes. @JuliaVyse

I too can say lots of things, and at the same time, provide no helpful insight. @JonKagan

Don’t know to be honest. I don’t look at those scores typically in ad accounts. We are more focused on hit hitting KPI and how to move the needle @duanebrown

As I shared earlier, kind of hard to not think that performance is being impacted, negatively, when you see this in your ad groups. Note the last thing to fix the ad strength. @NeptuneMoon

I look at it this way: quality scores are already low for many B2B industries. Ad strength is just another metric we’ll probably ignore. @beyondthepaid

Impact of ad strength I haven’t tested this, but if the machine says it is bad, it can’t be good. @soanders

Q5: Have you seen any improvement in the search query data available within Google Ads?

What search query data is that? @soanders

Mixed results – improved visibility for some accounts, others (healthcare specifically) are unchanged. @beyondthepaid

If by improvement we mean less data in the ad account. Then it’s amazing. @duanebrown

Hasn’t felt that way. There are still many instances on the search network where I’ll want to look at a low a volume campaigns converting search terms but can’t. ANY SEARCH TERM THAT CONVERTS, I WANT TO SEE IN THE SEARCH TERMS REPORT. @BrettBodofsky

No, and to be honest it oddly seems to be getting worse, but I can’t figure out if it is just me or not @JonKagan

Q6: Anything else on your mind regarding Google Ads this week?

Um, *gestures vaguely at everything* just like, stop? and also, no. ew! @JuliaVyse

Ecommerce PPCers, prepare for another Shipageddon season and how it could impact Google Ads clients:… @PPCKirk

I’d like to know if Google plans to exempt regulated industries from RSA pinning penalties. Also, a bit more transparency on RSA data as well as the reasons for their decisions would be appreciated. @TheCopyTrail

What’s on my mind about Google Ads. A question to fellow #ppcchat‘ters: Do you bother maintaining a >90% optimization score by reviewing all the recommendations like we do? Or don’t you bother? (we use it for training) @soanders

Can we all agree that a migration to GA4 is currently in no one’s best interest? The Broad+Smart+RSA worked out nice, I give them credit, but please stop pushing the auto-updates. Also: Go Jets! @JonKagan

Did clients listen and order enough stock. Had some monthly calls today and thankfully clients did. Read this great thread on supply chain issues that is only going to get worse:… @duanebrown

It was an issue last year and been tweeting about it for the last year plus. Now it’s even worse than Q3/4 2020. All the little things adding up and see the knock-on affect happen. @duanebrown

Just getting ready for the holidays. Anyone has some good PPC Black Friday / Cyber Monday checklists to reference? @BrettBodofsky

The stupidity of the identity verification process. I almost felt like I needed to get hold of a Mclovin fake ID to verify an ad account, instead, I got a friend to verify. Seems to completely contradict the reason for doing it. @jimbanks

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