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Google Launches Responsive Search Ads

In a recent announcement, Google is introducing a new Search ad product that uses machine learning to adapt to users’ queries. The so called ‘Responsive Search Ads’ allow advertisers to provide up to 15 headlines and 4 description lines.

Responsive ads on the Display Network have been around for a while and are designed to solve a big problem for display advertisers, namely the sheer number of ad sizes and types across the web. With those responsive display ads, it’s possible to create one ad that fits almost any ad space.

With the new Search Network version of responsive ads, Google will test different combinations of the headlines and descriptions, learning which ad creative performs best for different search queries. Responsive Search Ads are potentially the most revolutionary change coming to search campaigns since 2016, when Google released Expanded Search Ads.

In testing, Google says using machine learning to test multiple sets of ad creative can increase clicks by up to 15% as well as increasing clicks, Responsive Search Ads will allow advertisers to compete in more auctions and match more queries. This can help advertisers reach more potential customers.

Google states: “Responsive Search Ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text – and more relevant messages – to your customers. By adapting your ad’s content to more closely match potential customers’ search terms, responsive search ads may improve your campaign’s performance.”

They are part of the continuum to let machine learning models do the work of ad creative optimisation. Some of the initiatives that have come before it are: dynamic search ads, automated ad suggestions (formerly known as Ads Added by Google) and Google’s efforts over the past year to get advertisers to give up manual A/B testing and add at least three ads per ad group. This is the same concept, just more automated. And, of course, there’s the push to automated ad rotation optimisation.

This relinquishes more manual control to the machines, which can give freedom to the human resources devoted to strictly controlling their ad tests. Responsive Search text ads are just one more indication that the days of manual A/B testing are coming to an end, fast!

Responsive Search Ads may sound similar to Expanded Text Ads, but Google’s giving the former more character real estate than the latter type of ads and they’re different in two key ways.

  • More space:  Show up to three headlines instead of two, and up to two 90-character description fields (instead of one 80-character description field).
  • More flexibility:  With up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions for a single responsive search ad, there are many possible combinations for Google to show depending on the query.

Responsive search ads are currently in beta and available to a limited number of Google Ads advertisers. They will start rolling out to all advertisers over the next several months.

If you want to know more about how RSAs can help to improve your business’s Search marketing, contact us now.