A Shift in AdWords From Text Ads to Google Shopping and PLAs


ROI is the reason companies are spending so much on Google’s product listing ads. There is a shift in e-commerce taking place involving a shift away from PPC text ads toward product listing ads in Google Shopping. “How Google Cashes In” (2017) contends that product ads accounted for 52 percent of all Google search ad spending during the first quarter of 2017 compared to only a mere 8 percent in 2011. In 2009, Google started allowing advertisers to display image-based advertisements that feature a price and the merchant’s site, called PLAs or product listing ads. AdWords text ads and product listing ads are both managed through an AdWords account. The difference between an AdWords ad and a product listing ad is that product listing ads target based on products or a group of products instead of keywords.

Displaying a product along with its price results in higher quality traffic to your landing pages. A picture grabs the consumer’s attention much better than a text-based advertisement does. The image-based ads convey more depth to a would-be consumer than a text-based ad does. An advertisement with an image of a product is much easier and quicker to “read” on mobile. Point blank, Google Shopping and image-based ads are better investments than PPC text ads.

How Google Cashes In on the Space Right Under the Search Bar (2017, April 24). The New York Times.

The author, Bob Ottaway, is President and Founder of Ottaway Digital.  Established in 1999, it has been a pioneer in SEO, digital advertising & social media since 2006.  

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