Earlier this year AdWords rolled out their new Extended Text Ads (ETAs). It seemed like a rushed global roll-out, but the opportunity to get up to 60 characters in the title (two lines of 30 characters each) instead of 25 was a huge opportunity. The addition 10 characters afforded by the single 80-character description was also a nice bonus.
However, ETAs are like the awkward guy at the party because we know they’ll eventually replace the old ad format, but Google wasn’t committing to when that will happen. Further complicating things is the spotty adoption. Look at this SERP for “auto insurance quote” I just did today:
From what I can tell, these 4 ads are all the old format and insurance is one of the most competitive industries out there. These are professionally managed and spend a ton of money, but they’re not using ETAs. Even a search for “idaho fall plumber” turned up an ETA:
ETA Deadline Set
But it looks like Google is ready to push people toward adoption a little harder starting in 2017. From an email sent to all AdWords advertisers (check the email inbox, maybe even the spam folder) here is what they said:
Starting January 31st, 2017 you will no longer be able to create or edit standard text ads within AdWords. After this date, you will only be able to create and edit text ads using the expanded text ads format. Existing standard text ads will continue serving alongside expanded text ads.
- You don’t have to worry about this until after the holiday season (if you don’t want to)
- You’ve got 4 months to test and find ETAs that outperform your current ads
- More characters available for your ads
However, this still leaves us with 2 different ad formats in our accounts, which live in different areas of AdWords Editor, etc. Not ideal, but evidently it won’t be an issue in 4 more months.