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Responsive Search Ads (RSA)

Why did Google Launch Responsive Search Ads?

Manuel Arrufat
Updated on_
January 11, 2024

It is not because they want to mess with a new acronym, nor to replace the old format: ETA (Expanded Text Ads)

There is another reason why.

At first, no one agreed, they all thought Responsive Search Ads seemed worse: It didn't convert as much as the old format.

Advertisers and media agencies were convinced that Google was doing it to make them increase spend.

And to sell less.

In a certain way it is logical that they think so. They had been using Expanded Text Ads for years, decades, and already managed to perfect the messages and focus on those that worked best.

The rest of the headlines were removed: Out!

And when the new format came out, RSA, we all did what we knew. Select the winning phrase, the one that converted, the coolest one.

But the essence of Responsive Search Ads is different and must be understood.

If you do, you'll be fine.

Trust me.

But don't reinvent the rules. You don't want to misuse them.

Don't wear roller skates to drive a car.

Google has greatly developed machine learning techniques and that is very powerful. It allows micro-granular targeting as well as showing the perfect creative to every customer persona. As we will see now, we can go further than we imagined.


Well, very easy, it asks you to give them up to 15 Headlines (Titles) and 4 Descriptions, then the system will serve them indistinctly when faced with multiple searches.

It takes nothing for granted.

Google wants to learn everything.

It subjects the system to a High Variability and then collects the data to draw conclusions.

Google has a lot of data that it offers you in your campaign control panel and other types of data that it does not reveal.

They call it “signals”.

What are those signals?

And why don't they tell me about these?

On the one hand it’s because they can't…and at the same time it’s because a secret sauce is kept so that Smart Bidding algorithms work better.

Everything is fine.

But what kind of signs are those?

Wel, a little bit of everything. User browsing data, visits to other websites, recent purchases (and not so recent)...all of these matched with important metadata (where the user is, device, time of day and week, etc.).

Let's see, let's see...

  • Google will ask for 15 headlines in each RSA.
  • It serves all types of combinations to all types of users
  • Matches it with user data
  • Creates micro-segments which are more likely to be attracted by different combinations. Ex: Segment 1 prone to click if Headline 1, 4 and 11 appears, etc…

But… 15 headlines are that many?

Yes, they are. Specifically, they generate 2940 possible combinations.

The less you have, the less combinations you will get which translates in a decrease in the micro-segments that you can optimally captivate. 

If I use more headlines = I'll do better.

Google launched RSA because it is a better product. And you have to know how to take advantage of it. 

In summary, there are 3 main reasons:

  • Machine Learning
  • Targeting
  • Personalization of the message

Do you know who can help you generate better Headlines and take advantage of the power of RSA?

Dolnai: The Ad Creator Company

Contact us and we'll tell you how.

Manuel Arrufat
Updated on_
January 11, 2024
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