Good morning, Marketers, are you ready for RSA reality? 

You shouldn’t be ignoring responsive search ads (RSAs) altogether, even if you’ve had bad luck with them — keep testing and learning because Google’s made clear they aren’t going anywhere. However, don’t think of RSAs as the “easy button” of text ads, or you’ll fail. 

I’ve heard from many advertisers since Google acknowledged it’s running a test in which RSA is the default Search ad format. Here is some of what PPC veteran and founder of Adalysis Brad Geddes had to say, “There is … an issue with the way RSAs have been discussed. One of the big benefits that is touted for RSAs is time savings. This has led many advertisers to just use the same RSA in many ad groups since Google said it’ll figure out how to serve the ads. This is also where some of the performance issues of RSAs come into play. 

I think RSAs will thrive in accounts that are not well setup, run by SMBs, aggregators, or those who favor speed over results. If you really don’t know what you’re doing, RSAs are probably the best ad format to use.  

At the moment, well segmented accounts with ETAs that follow some simple formulas of ad writing (relevancy, calls to action, benefits, authority) outperform RSAs the majority of the time.”

Still, some advertisers said they are starting to find some success with RSAs or at least learning how to use them more effectively.

Don’t forget! A reminder to sign up to join us live on Friday for a Live with Search Engine Land discussion on closing the gender gap in SEO. I’ll be joined by Nicole DeLeon, Aleyda Solis and Amanda Jordan. Sign up here 

Ginny Marvin,


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Social Shorts

Facebook ad limits will roll out next year

Facebook wants advertisers to cut down on all the ads they’re creating in their campaigns and instead rely on a smaller set of machine learning-powered dynamic ad formats for personalization. The company said it will begin enforcing new ad limits per Page next year.  The limits, shown above, will be based on how much advertisers spent on the platform in the previous 12 months.

Why we care. Advertisers used to have to create loads of ads for Facebook for audience targeting and because ads often had a short shelf-life. Now, when new ads are launched, Facebook’s ad delivery system serves them based on what it predicts will be the best performing people and places and continues to learn. Dynamic ads give the system more control over what it shows for each ad impression. With advertisers running too many individual ads, there sometimes aren’t enough impressions for the system to learn from. Facebook says, “We discovered that four in ten running ads fail to exit the learning phase, and many of these ads come from advertisers running too many ads at the same time.” As we’ve said many times, Welcome to the predictive marketing era.


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Search Shorts

Speakable markup is useful and congrats to John Mueller!

Speakable markup. Despite some communication from Google saying that speakable markup is obsolete, that is not true – Google’s John Mueller said on Twitter “Speakable markup is not obsolete. That email was unfortunately phrased, we’ve been following up internally to make this all a bit clearer. The markup is certainly still useful.”

Link spam emails. Just a piece of advice, do not email your link spam do-follow link requests directly to Googlers who work on Google Search and with the spam team.

Congrats John Mueller. John Mueller, Google Search Relations, has been awarded the Global Search Personality Award for 2020.  Huge congrats to John who has been in the SEO community since the super early 2000s and joined Google in 2007.


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What we're reading

We've curated our picks from across the web so you can retire your feed reader.

301 vs. 302 Redirects for SEO: Which Should You Use? – Ahrefs

Apple Search is Already Here – Go Fish Digital

Bing Webmaster Tools Drops Geo-Targeting Feature – Search Engine Roundtable

Conversion Category Changes in AdWords API, Google Ads API, and Google Ads scripts – 

Google Ads Developer Blog

How to Choose Google My Business Categories (With Cool Tools!) – Moz

Introducing the AMP in WordPress Video Series! – The AMP Blog

The Taboola/Outbrain Merger Is Off – Here’s Why – AdExchanger

 Turning it up to Android 11 – Google Blog