The Google expanded text ad CTR lift that never was
Contributor Andy Taylor shares his take on Google's expanded text ads (ETAs), drawing comparisons to the new responsive search ad (RSA) format.
Responsive search ads (RSA) are the hot paid search topic of the day. They give advertisers the ability to provide Google with up to 15 headlines and four descriptions that Google can then mix and match in testing for the most effective combination of ad copy.
In exchange for testing the new format, advertisers can show up to three headlines instead of two, as well as showing two 90-character descriptions instead of one 80-character description. Google recently announced the expansion of RSA formatting to regular text ads.
The jury is still out as to whether RSAs will have a meaningful impact on text ad click-through rates (CTRs), but the dust is more or less settled on the last major text ad update to take the pay-per-click (PPC) world by storm: expanded text ads (ETA).
New paid search blood might think nothing of the two 30-character headlines and 80 character description available through ETAs, but in (puts on spectacles) MY day, we had to make do with one 25-character headline and two 35-character description lines.
Despite ambitious expectations from marketers and Google alike, the results since ETAs became the text ad standard indicate the format hasn’t had quite the effect many predicted it would.
No sign of text ad CTR improvement since ETA deadline
ETAs entered the testing phase in early 2016, and advertisers could choose to load standard (which I’ll refer to as “OGAs” from here on for their status as the original text ad format) or expanded ads through January 31, 2017, at which time only expanded text ads could then be loaded.
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