Five Key Takeaways From Google Ads in 2022

2022 Google Ads - 2023 Google Ads Strategy

2022 – If you blinked, you missed it.

After what feels like one of the fastest years in living history, you can be forgiven for having missed out on some of the announcements Google Ads made throughout the year.

Seriously, between Google Marketing Live, Search On 2022 and 41 announcement articles, it can be difficult to keep on top of all the changes.

Shape Your 2023 Google Ads Strategy

However, when looking forward to the New Year, we should also take some time to reflect on what changed and what was announced for the platforms we use. Not only is it good to know what to be expecting in terms of platform changes, but new features and announcements might help shape your 2023 strategy.

So here are 5 things you may have missed out on in 2022, and how you might incorporate them into your 2023 Google Ads strategy.

1. Goodbye to Expanded Text Ads (ETAs)

Back in July, Google sunsetted the ETA ad format, elevating Responsive Search Ads (RSAs) to the default ad format for Search Campaigns.

Whilst ETAs are still eligible to run, advertisers can no longer create new ETAs, and more importantly, they can no longer edit them. This means that any changes such as amends to ad copy or URLs can no longer take place, leaving some accounts with outdated ad copy or disapproved ads due to broken links.

RSAs also allow for much easier ad copy testing, and their responsive nature has seen many advertisers reporting an increase in Conversion Rate for their Search Campaigns.

RSA in Google Ads - 2023 Google Ads Strategy
Above: Creating a new RSA in Google Ads

So if you are still running ETAs in your account, then don’t even wait for 2023 to start implementing RSAs, get switching now!

For more information about this change, visit:

2. Extensions Became Assets

If you’ve explored the dashboard recently, then you may have noticed the replacement of the ‘Extensions’ tab with ‘Assets’. Whilst on the surface this may just seem like a name change, the new Assets tab also offers an increased level of visibility for how your Ads actually appear and offers better preview options too. There is also more performance data for advertisers to use for reporting and optimisations, something which advertisers were lacking beforehand.

Google Ads Extensions Become Assets - 2023 Google Ads Strategy
Above: How the new Assets tab looks in the Google Ads dashboard

When it comes to the implementation of Assets it is of course always important to stay on top of the classics (Sitelink, Callout, Structured Snippets…), but there are also some new options you might want to consider. Business Logo and Name are now options available for most advertisers, further expanding how your Ads appear in Search results.

Definitely take some time in 2023 to explore the changes in the Assets tab. Be that updating your existing Assets, exploring some new options or building Assets into how your report on Ad performance – there’s a lot of potential in that little tab.

3. Google Analytics 4 - The Next Generation of Analytics

Whilst not strictly a Google Ads platform announcement, the migration from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 is an important one for all advertisers and website owners to be aware of. And for anyone using Universal Analytics to track Conversions in Google Ads, this announcement can not be ignored.

GA4 logo and graphics
Above: All advertisers can now run Audio Ads in Google Ads

On 1st July 2023, standard Universal Analytics (UA) properties will stop processing data, with only Google Analytics 4 (GA4) properties processing new data. Whilst you will be able to use UA to see old data, no data from the 1st July will be available, essentially making it an absolute property for most advertisers. This also means that sooner you migrate to GA4, the more data you will have at your disposal once UA comes to an end.

It is therefore crucial that anyone currently using UA completes the migration to GA4.

Does this migration require effort on your behalf? Does this mean you will have to reassess what actions you are tracking as Conversions? Could you potentially have to amend your on-site codes to ensure you are tracking things correctly? The answer to those questions is yes, yes and yes. However it is no longer effective to run Google Ads campaigns without adequate and accurate performance data, so your migration efforts will also pay off in the long run.

For more information visit:

4. Audio Ads Come Out of Beta

In October, Google Ads opened up Audio ads out to all advertisers. Enabling advertisers to reach their target audience whilst they browse videos, listen to music or podcasts, this ad format is focused on increasing brand awareness for low costs.

It also offers an alternative option for those who want to run ads on YouTube but who do not have the resources to produce Video assets, as Audio Ads are typically cheaper to produce than Video Ads.

Whilst this is not going to be a suitable ad format for all advertisers, if you have a firm grasp on who your target audience is (so you can build the relevant audience targeting into your campaign) and you want to test a new ad format in 2023, then this may be an option for you.

Google Audio Ads - Someone listening to music - 2023 Google Ads Strategy
Above: All advertisers can now run Audio Ads in Google Ads

5. Time is Running Out For Similar Audiences

As part of Google Ads approach to preserving privacy, navigating uncertainty and their ever evolving automated solutions, the ‘Similar Audiences’ targeting option is coming to an end. 

From May 2023 advertisers will no longer be able to create new Similar Audience segments, or assign existing segments to Campaigns or Ad Groups. Then from August 2023, Similar Audiences will be removed completely from accounts, although there will still be access to historical reporting data.

Google Ads Similar Audiences - 2023 Google Ads Strategy
Above: Google have released a timeline for their removal of the Similar Audience targeting option

This has been a disappointing announcement for many advertisers particularly those working on lead generation accounts, who have found Similar Audiences to be an invaluable way to reach a relevant audience. However Google promises that its automated solutions (Smart Bidding, Audience Expansion, Optimised Targeting…) is powerful enough to efficiently replace such targeting options.

It is important to remember that until May 2023 you will still be able to create and assign new Similar Audience Segments, so there is no harm in still utilising it as part of your strategy. There is also no harm in still using this targeting option until they are removed from the platform, especially if you have found this to be an effective targeting method for your campaigns.

However, you should start exploring the wider range of audience targeting available (In-Market, Custom Segments, Affinity Audiences…) to see which are relevant for your product or service. And if you aren’t using some of the automated solutions such as Smart Bidding already, then this is something which you should seriously consider implementing into your accounts.

If you want to start planning your Google Ads Strategy for 2023 or want some advice, contact us. There’s no better time to get the ball rolling than now. 

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