Google’s Product Listings Ads & Marketers’ Opportunities

In search of new revenue streams, it was no shock to us when Google announced that its Google Shopping was moving towards being a paid service, and would start phasing out ‘free clicks'.

Google Shopping, often referred to as ‘Product Listing Ads' (PLAs) have, for most part, been a successful addition especially from an e-commerce point of view. The new opportunities for marketers are ever increasing, and with recent rumours of Google test trailing extended PLAs (showing up to 16 PLAs) we will see the future of Google search transform. Some users are, however, still slow to adapt to the new opportunities primarily due to the fact that they see creating a product feed (essentially a list of products and details) to upload onto the Google Merchant Center. The ‘hassle' of making a feed is worth it. From accounts Anicca works on we have noticed that general benefits to having PLAs include:

  • Lower Cost Per Clicks (CPC)
  • Higher Click Through Rates (CTR)
  • Good Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

The key to fully utilising Google's AdWords platform is by using as much space as possible – by this I mean you want to combine text ads with product listing ads (what I term ‘the double barrel') and if you have your search engine optimisation to ensure a good organic ranking you have a ‘strike'; three possible ways for users to end up on your site from one search.

It becomes a matter of strategy – how do you fully optimise these three opportunities?

One possible way is to have them work in uniform, promoting the same message. Alternatively, you may decide to use each link to your site to work slightly different; have PLAs directly focused on a certain product, ads focused on a certain product type and your organic link(s) focused on providing general information. It is possible that PLAs may take away traffic from text ads and organic search – as people are usually more attracted to pictures as to text and therefore another reason to consider using product listing ads.

Given the great opportunities the addition of PLAs will give websites (especially e-commerce sites), I predict that PLAs will see greater competition – the possible addition of more PLAs will only add to this; but PLAs are great as they often target users who know what they want to buy and therefore more likely to buy.


Marketers have to keep up with changes and utilise them fully in a co-ordinated fashion, being strategic in how they maximise the opportunities. Speaking of maximising opportunities, if you feel you can benefit from marketing on Google why not contact us today on 0116 298 7065.


For more advice on how to set up a Google Product Listings Ads click here or alternatively if you want some great tips on how to setup, use and manage  Google Product Listings Ad’s click here.



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