After Google’s big news last week about the changes to AdWords with Expanded Text Ads, they released notes on the latest version of the AdWords API, which includes initial access to ETAs.


Of note to marketers under “Migration Tips,” Google states:  “The migration to Expanded Text Ads will require your intervention: In many cases, the second headline will need new content…”  


We’ve been telling our customers to focus on creative, and now Google is telling marketers to get to work as well. It’s not an easy fix, and inherent in their message to search marketers is that creative matters.


For marketers eager to take start using the AdWords API for ETAs, a few important things to note:

  • Currently, the API functionality is only available through the latest version, v201605.
  • In this release, the new fields for ETAs are only available to be used in AdWords test accounts. You can find more information about creating an AdWords test account here.
  • The new ETA format is being added as a net-new ad type, titled “EXPANDED_TEXT_AD” in the API.
  • The API documentations notes that use of the devicePreference field will cause an error, which seems to indicate the ETA ad type will not able to have a device preference designated.   
  • The new ETA format also include all new ad text fields (rather than replacing the existing fields):

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 12.59.55 PM

*It is important to note that Expanded Text Ads do not use url, displayUrl, finalAppUrls, or devicePreference; setting these fields on an expanded text ad will cause an error. The primary URL field that should be use for defining the ad’s landing page is the finalUrls field.


Finally, we would like to share a tip for tracking performance attribution through systems that currently rely on the Ad Performance report to capture this data. Since this report has not been updated to include data from the ETA ad type, performance data for an account running ETAs will be incomplete. However, any events such as impressions, clicks, conversion, etc. will be captured by the Keywords Performance report. By taking the difference in aggregate data between these reports, marketers can infer the total volume of data being driven by the ETA ads.


For example, let’s say you call the Ad Performance report for Ad Group A and see that there is a total of 100 clicks, and when you call the Keywords Performance report for this ad group you see that there is a total of 120 clicks. In this example, you can infer that the ETA format ad (or ads) in this ad group received a total of 20 clicks. Ad-level performance data can also be pulled directly from the AdWords interface.


The AdWords API release schedule is typically updated every two months, so it is our expectation that in the next two releases, v201607 and v201609, more in-depth support for ETAs should become available for production AdWords account and within the reporting services.


Have questions? Leave them below in the comments or contact us here to learn more.