Google Product Listing Ads Coming Out On Top….

December 5, 2013

In the wake of Cyber Monday, you may have stopped shopping long enough to notice that Google has started serving Product Listing Ads in a new location on the Search Engine Results Page.

In a test confirmed by Google, you’re going to start seeing Product Listing Ads above text ads on the left side of the page. This is also the treatment that mobile will receive with Product Listing Ads serving on top and potentially two text ads at the bottom of the page.

So, what does this mean? Here’s what we think you should anticipate with the new format:

  1. More PLA clicks! Watch your budgets for budget exhaustion as a larger number of clicks will probably come to PLAs now that they’re on top.
  2. Increased CPCs. Given that your brand terms may have historically been in positions 1-2 and had a CPC of less than half of average PLA click costs, you’re likely to see an increase in CPC average across your account.

  3. More homework. It’s going to be increasingly important to understand how text and PLA clicks assist each other so that you can bid accordingly and keep both sources of demand fed.

  4. Less organic traffic. With PLAs occupying the top area of the page instead of the top right side, that pushes the paid ads down and further pushes organic listings down. We haven’t yet seen scenarios with PLAs and text ads with extensions (sitelinks, locations, etc) but when that happens, Organic listings will be all but gone above the fold!

  5. Fine-tuning. Potential changes to query refinement strategy to get users to the best landing page possible. Right now PLAs sometimes show for relatively general queries like “black dress” yet go to a product specific page. Long term retailers will want insight into how to optimise each ad format based on actual conversion rates and cost per conversion per ad type!

Looking for help understanding Google PLAs?  Check out our website and find out How to Succeed with Google Shopping.

Blog post by Jackie Jenkins, Sr. Product Manager and Frank Andolina, Search Services Manager