October 1, 2022

4 Important Changes to Google Ads Extensions: What You Need to Know

4 Important Changes to Google Ads Extensions: What You Need to Know

Yesterday, Google announced some changes to ad extensions — all of which are pretty good, but which can be a little confusing for novice advertisers — so we’re clearing it all up in this post.

tweets about updating Google ad extensions

Enlarge image | Check out the Twitter thread.

The four updates are as follows:

  • Ad extensions are now called assets.
  • [Legacy] extensions easier to create and preview.
  • Combinations report to show [legacy] extension performance.
  • New asset report to show individual asset performance.

Read on to get the full scoop!

Google Ads Extension Update: The Short Version

So here’s the quick breakdown of Google’s September 15 announcement about extensions:

From now on, extensions in Google Ads have been rebranded as “assets”. In the coming weeks, the ad creation flow will change so that you will create and preview [legacy] extensions within the ad creation window (as opposed to separately, as it is now). Also in the coming weeks you will be able to see individual asset performance in a new asset report. And in the coming months you will see [legacy] extension performance in the combination report.

There is nothing you need to do– all this will happen automatically and your existing [legacy] extensions and associations will remain intact.

What’s changing with Google Ads assets and extensions?

Now let’s dive into each change.

Change #1: Ad extensions are now called assets

When does this happen? Now.

This part of the update is pretty straightforward. Google Ads extensions are now called assets. Nothing changes about any of the assets (fka extensions) themselves, just the name. So you can still create:

But while already [legacy] Extensions are now assets, not all assets are [legacy] extensions. Assets also include headlines and descriptions (for responsive search ads) as well as images, logos and videos (for Performance Max campaigns).

examples of assets in Google ads

Change #2: You can more easily create assets (fka extensions)

When does this happen? In the coming weeks.

Now, I know that sometimes Google will frame a less-than-ideal update as “an easier way” to do X, Y, or Z, but in this case, it appears to be a real improvement in the Google ad creation process.

previously, [legacy] extensions were a separate step from ad creation in the campaign setup process. You had (1) Bidding (2) Campaign Settings, (3) Keywords and Ads, (4) Extensions, and then (5) Budget. Now you have (1) Bid (2) Campaign Settings, (3) Keywords (4) Ads and Assets, and then (5) Budget.

the new vs old ad and extension creation flow

What this means is that before you had one window where you could go in and preview your headlines and descriptions (tips on responsive search ad copy here) and then a separate window where you [legacy] extensions—but not in combination with the ad you associate them with.

Now you can create and preview yours [legacy] extensions next to your headlines and descriptions.

new vs old Google Ads ad and extension creation windows

Two other changes:

  • Google will now recommend assets based on your campaign objective (such as recommending a lead form asset if your goal is to generate leads).
  • Any assets (fka extensions) you create within this new workflow will also be available to other campaigns and ad groups.

Change #3: [Legacy] extensions to be included in the combination report

When does this happen? The new data in this report will be introduced in the next few months.

So the combination report is not a new report in Google Ads. What this report shows you is the number of impressions each asset combination gets in your responsive search ad, so you can see which one is the most common.

Since RSAs use machine learning to serve up the best-performing combinations, it essentially gives you an idea of ​​which ones are the best performers, but as Google reminds us in the report, it’s not advised to create static versions of top-performing combinations not (with pinning), since RSAs use real-time signals to generate combinations.

What is changing is this: Since extensions are now assets, you can now see which ones [legacy] extensions also get the most impressions.

legacy extensions that are now included in the Google ad combination report

Change #4: New ads and asset report

When does this happen? This report will be launched in the coming weeks.

Last but not least, there is a new report called the asset report that allows you to look at individual asset performance within your responsive search ads (as opposed to combinations of assets). There is both an ad-level asset report and a campaign-level asset report, and these will be available in an Ads & Assets tab in your left navigation panel:

the Google Ads Ads and Assets tab

You will then have two views:

In the assets view, you will be able to see headline and description performance:

google ads asset report - asset view

Note that each of these images are screenshots of a GIF in Google’s announcement.

This includes how many and which ads use the asset, whether it is pinned, as well as clicks, impressions, click-through rate and performance rating metrics:

google ad asset report - statistics available in the asset view

In the associations viewyou will see similar information for you [legacy] extensions, such as sitelink, image, lead form, call, price, promotion and more. You’ll also have visibility into clicks, impressions and click-through rate:

google ad asset report - statistics available in the association view

Do you need to do something?

Nope! As Google says,

Any existing extensions will automatically transition to assets while retaining their associations at the account, campaign and ad group level.

But if you want to learn about which assets (fka extensions) are best for your ads, check us out Google Ads [legacy extensions 🤦🏻‍♀️ ] cheat page!

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