Googles Latest News: Responsive Search Ads

Written by Phil Birss: Group CEO.
· 4 minute read

Have you not heard the news? Google have recently launched Responsive Search Ads, which  is expected to be rolled out to all accounts in due course. It’s currently in beta and I have been lucky enough to view it first hand.


Responsive Search Ads basically allow Google to dynamically generate adverts for your business in your adwords account, serving varying combinations of Headlines and Descriptions and ultimately optimising the best performing variations. It’s worth noting that these adverts will include up to three Headlines, so could increase the amount of space taken up on google and make adverts stand out.


Currently advertisers can use expanded text ads with the option of having 2 Headlines with 30 characters and one Description of 80. In this new format you can upload 15 unique Headlines and up to 4 unique Descriptions, Google then utilises machine learning to optimise these different headers and descriptions together.


Google has added in a feature that allows advertisers to ‘pin’ a particular Headline in place. This makes it possible for a company to ensure a brand or a key message is always first or in a certain position, whilst Google will still optimise the rest of the ad. looking at this first hand, already it’s clear that great communication is needed between the Adwords Professional or Agency and the Company/Compliance department, to make sure Ads adear to all Google Adwords Policy requirements and any compliance guidelines that are applicable, this is mainly due to the amount of possible variations there could be.


Machine learning could eventually take over the world! Although It’s a good thing that machine learning is a major focus for Google, as ultimately it should make advertising more dynamic and relevant to the customer. However, if they build a AI Machine and call it Hal I would start to worry.

With regards to the ads themselves, character limits have been updated and Descriptions have been increased up to 90 characters, whilst Headlines remain the same at 30.

These Responsive Text Ad formats are available in the New Adwords interface, however they are only available to a select few for beta testing, how lucky am I right?


Google releasing the Responsive Text Ad beta shows how they are gearing towards machine learning in Adwords. This new format should be positive for most advertisers in the industry.

The new ads format and the ability to dynamically test ad copy will allow Adwords Professional/Agencies to move away from traditional (sometimes manual) A/B testing, and have multiple versions of ad copy running simultaneously instead. Meaning multiple A/B tests can be run at the same time, perhaps learning will be done faster, and hopefully we can all make a few quid quicker.  

The potential benefits of Responsive Text Ads could also extend to the smaller businesses, which currently advertise on Adwords. Having more automation would naturally free up time spent on the account, which could result in reduced operational costs, along with an increased focus on growth and other routes to market.

One of the main positive impacts to these ads is the amount of Google Search real estate that can now be occupied by your brand. With three Headlines now on offer and a higher character limit for Descriptions, more company unique selling points, offers and sales messages can now be added into the ads. This could potentially lead to higher click through rates, more people visiting the site, more sales and hopefully increased revenue.


I fully expect Google to roll this out for all advertisers in the next 12 months or so, but I suppose only time will tell if this will actually be the case. It’s clear to see that Google is wanting to use machine learning to stay a step ahead. So, If you want to make sure you too stay a step ahead, or need help improving adwords, then contact us today.