Good morning, are ETAs taking a back seat?

Several community members reported to us Friday that the option to create a Text ad was no longer available from the Ads dropdown in the Google Ads interface. That leaves Responsive search ad (RSA) and Call ad as the two ad options available in affected accounts. However, text ads aren’t totally unavailable — there is still an option to click a link to “Switch back to text ads” from the RSA workflow screen.  

I haven’t been able to replicate this experience and still see the Text ad option in accounts. We have reached out to Google to find out whether it’s a bug, a test or something that’s rolling out. It’s an odd time — mid-pandemic, pre-holiday — for this type of interface change. 

That said, the eventual demise of ETAs has seemed a foregone conclusion. Whether this is a nail in the ETA coffin remains to be seen, but RSAs represent where Google is moving with machine learning. In this case, ML is used to predict which combinations of titles and descriptions will resonate best with a searcher based on historical data and signals available at the time of the auction. 

If Google is getting closer this shift, it’s going to be a big wake up for a lot of advertisers that haven’t embraced testing RSAs. Even if this turns out to be a bug, we should probably still take it as a hint of what’s to come at some point. An RSA tip: “To truly have success with RSAs — or any text ad format,” Brad Geddes told an SMX audience last year, “advertisers need to put thought into their ads and get back to basics of messaging benefits versus features.”

Ginny Marvin


Google Optimize adds editing

If you’re using Google Optimize, you no longer have to start all over if you want to correct a typo or make other minor edits to experiments or personalizations that are already running. Andrea Cruz, digital marketing manager at KoMarketing, spotted the new capability. If you’re materially changing the content, then you will want to create a new experiment, but this is handy for those quick tweaks.


Compare 13 top marketing automation platforms

MarTech Today’s “B2B Marketing Automation Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide” examines the market for B2B marketing automation software platforms. This report includes profiles of 13 leading B2B marketing automation vendors, capabilities comparisons, pricing information, and recommended steps for evaluating and purchasing.

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Search Shorts

Creator property for dataset structured data warnings.

Dataset structured data warning. Google Search Console will be showing a new warning for dataset structured data where it is missing the creator property.

Last modified date. Will it hurt to change the last modified data on your page, XML sitemap or structured data too often?  Google’s John Mueller basically said no on Twitter.

15% of Google queries. Danny Sullivan from Google said the metric that 15% of all queries Google sees on a daily basis that are new is still true.


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Submit your most impressive search marketing campaigns for your chance to win industry-wide recognition, boost team morale, and impress new clients! The Last Chance period ends this Friday September 4 at 11:59pm PST – don’t miss out!

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What We're Reading

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

Apple Search – SEO Book

Asset performance ratings & Responsive Search Ads – Microsoft Advertising

Get a Snapshot of your day with Google Assistant – Google Blog

Google Ads Mistakes to Avoid — Best of Whiteboard Friday – Moz

How to Use Data Forecasting for SEO [Scripts Included] – Ahrefs

Introducing v2.0 of the official AMP for WordPress Plugin – The AMP Blog

Sunset of DBM API v1, SDF Download and Line Item services – Google Ads Developer Blog

U.S. Antitrust Case Against Google Zeroes In On ‘Tying’ Products – Bloomberg

Using Customer Intent Data to Drive Business Decisions – State of Digital