All About Responsive Search Ads and What It Means For Marketers

Google has recently launched a new default advertisement type called responsive search ads or RSAs, their most recent endeavour at improved marketing automation. It’s a kind of paid search ad that adjusts copy in real-time to correspond with a user’s search intent better, presenting even more relevant content. 

In this kind of ad, advertisers enter numerous headlines and descriptions into Google, which the search engine will harmonize in real-time to come up with the final ad. It will then use machine learning to discover the combinations that should be used on different queries tested against each other to determine the best performing one. With this new, improved ad, marketers may wonder how it affects their campaigns and how to adapt their campaigns accordingly. Here’s what you need to know:

How RSAs Can Change the Game

RSAs is Google’s latest move towards more widespread automation, paving an exciting new path for marketers and companies hoping to explore new avenues of getting their target audience’s attention. It has already received many marketers’ praise, as it outperforms legacy Expanded Text Ads, which is the default ad type in Google Ads, featuring the classic three headlines and two descriptions for each ad. What sets RSAs apart is that marketers can use algorithmic testing instead of A/B testing, immediately removing combinations that don’t work while adding in new variations at any time. This is big news for marketers, as there is no longer a need to schedule A/B split tests.

One of the hallmarks of A/B testing was that marketers had to change one variable at a time to identify the impact on performance and isolate it to determine which copy performs best. Although this approach is ideal for methodical testing to determine which ad element performs as intended or better than expected, algorithmic testing is a more efficient way to learn this without significantly affecting performance. It also prioritizes ad copy relevancy while encouraging a regular supply of new insights, giving marketers a wealth of information needed to improve their paid ads.

The Risks of RSAs

Although this new technology is definitely to be lauded by marketers, many questions still surround it, particularly concerning governance and control. For instance, some people may wonder if RSAs will show random or unapproved copy, which can quickly derail campaigns. However, the copy that RSAs will use will be entered into Google by marketers themselves, which means they have complete control over selecting approved copy that the search engine will use to display in RSAs. The algorithm will work with the supplied information and find the best combination that matches the user intent best. Like with other automated campaigns, marketers have the power to provide the parameters and monitor them to ensure that everything stays accurate.

Marketers can also fasten specific headlines and descriptions, allowing them even more control over how messages formulate in the campaign. That means RSAs can accommodate brands with regulations and specifications about specific claims that can or cannot be used in ad copy, making it an even more valuable and flexible marketing tool.


Given Google’s track record of advancing and dedicating its resources to new features, marketers will have to adapt quickly to leverage RSAs and stay ahead of the game. Expanded text ads will eventually be replaced by RSAs, requiring marketers to jump aboard and start taking advantage of these new expansion opportunities.

Analytics Beyond is a digital marketing company offering website development, SEO, and PPC services in Toronto. We can help you grow your online presence through customized solutions and a high level of digital insights, ensuring you maintain a competitive advantage over your competitors. Contact us today to schedule a consultation!


Sign up & receive marketing news, trends & discounts

We take privacy seriously and make sure to also not email you too frequent.

Our Client Care

Grow Your Digital Marketing With Precision. We Are Committed to Companies Who Want To Expand Their Online Reach. Our Focus Is On Delivering High Quality Work.


© 2024 Analytics & Beyond Marketing Inc. | Schedule Your Call | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy