Google Expands PLA/Shopping Distribution: New Visibility Opportunity for Advertisers

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Google Expands PLA/Shopping Distribution: New Visibility Opportunity for Advertisers


Google recently announced that advertisers can now opt to extend the reach of their Product Listing Ads (PLA)/Google Shopping campaigns to sites within the Google Search Network. This enables your PLAs to show on site search results pages within the AdSense for Shopping network, which includes sites like Walmart.com. PLAs are triggered by site search keywords, product category or product name. They show alongside the native search results: ScreenHunter_07 Sep. 11 12.10 Things to keep in mind include:

  • PLA advertisers who are opted-in to “Search Partners” will start seeing traffic from Adsense for Shopping (AFSh) partners, like Walmart.com
  • Google doesn’t share a list of AFSh partners, but assures us that all partners are high-quality sites. Thus, advertisers cannot currently exclude certain AFSh partners, but can turn off search partner PLA campaigns at the campaign level.
  • The AFSh partner list is currently of limited size, but growing
  • Search partner performance can be evaluated in your account statistics
  • Your click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates will differ between Google.com and search partner PLA campaigns. However, CTRs on search partners will not impact your Google.com Quality Scores, CPCs or ad positions.

PERFORMANCE IMPLICATIONS All advertisers should test extending PLA/Shopping campaigns beyond Google.com to Google’s search partners. This will enable you to increase visibility and engage qualified searchers beyond Google.com:

  • Visibility: Engage new/different searchers who are looking for your product/product categories off the traditional Google search page. Although Google’s Adsense for Shopping partner list is currently limited, Google is rolling out the product to more partners to help expand your reach even further.
  • Efficiency: Google’s expanded PLAs utilize automatic Smart Pricing, which discounts CPCs on partner sites that are less likely to result in conversions. For example, if you’re running Shopping ads for digital cameras on the partner network, an ad click on a site about photography tips would cost less than a click on a site about digital camera reviews (as the digital camera review site is more likely to drive a conversion).
  • No Risk: Search partner campaigns are completely independent of Google.com campaigns, so lower clicks or conversions won’t impact your Google.com Quality Scores or CPCs

Most importantly, advertisers should test and learn. Opt-in your Shopping campaigns to the partner network and then closely evaluate performance via analytics. You may find that your CTRs are lower than your Google.com campaigns; however, you could drive conversions at lower CPCs. The most important KPI on the partner network—or any channel—is profit. Approach expanded PLA/Shopping campaigns with this profit-based lens. For help managing or implementing PLA/Google Shopping campaigns, please contact your Performics Account Team today


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