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3 Common Issues Encountered When Uploading Expanded Text Ads

Earlier this week, Google officially rolled out Expanded Text Ad (ETA) formats to the general public. If you have not done so already, now is the time to seriously consider adding expanded text ads (ETAs) to your overall campaign strategies.


A popular way to upload expanded text ads is by using the bulk upload method using the ETA template. In order to use this method, you first need to make an ETA manually in the user interface. After the initial creation of the Ad, you can then download it as an excel file which will then provide you with a template. You can then create multiple Ads using this template and then upload the finished file to AdWords when you are done.


When uploading using this method, you may encounter the following issues:


  1. “Item does not meet the editorial guidelines: Online Pharmacy certificate required.


This error will occur when you attempt to upload an Ad that requires a special exception. When you see this error, it means that the ad is not eligible to be bulk uploaded. The workaround would be to manually create the ETA in the user interface.

  1. “Unrecognized type of ad. Please make sure all required columns are populated.”


In order to upload ETA ads, you will need to include the columns “headline”, “headline 2”, “description”, “path 1” and “path 2”. Since path 1 and 2 are considered optional, some clients elect to eliminate the columns from the template. However, this will trigger the error so make sure to include Path 1 and 2 as separate columns and leave the fields blank if you are not using it for a particular Ad. In addition, Ad Type should be “Expanded Text Ad”.

  1. “An internal error occurred”


This error occurs when you include a “Device Preference” column in your ETA template. Mobile preferred ads are not available because, by design, ETAs are optimized for all platforms.

Colin Donohue Badged Google Partner
August 2016

The issue I've had with the new ad format is that the content does not show. 

I've had clients contact me and ask why the sale we're having was not mentioned in the ads, but it was in the ad in Headline 2.  Headline 2 was not showing at all. 

Under what conditions is Headline 2 supposed to show or not?