Spotlight on (PLA’s) Google Product Listing Ads Popularity

The popularity of PLA’s Google Product Listing Ads with online advertisers is soaring and clearly Google is taking notice by improving their reach.

Google PLA’s have been getting a lot of coverage lately.

Larry Kim, founder of WordStream, recently wrote a post on “how product listing ads are stealing your conversions;” which also explains their rise in popularity:


Larry Kim stated that, “When I search on “keurig coffee maker,” about 80% of the screen is devoted to sponsored results featuring keurig products– I have to scroll below the fold to see more than two organic listings. All the ads you can see here make use of extensions (such as offer extensions, location extensions, etc.) but the PLAs are especially compelling because of the image and price information.


Last year, we did some research on ad-filled SERPS like this and found that about two-thirds of clicks on commercial searches go to the ads.”


Google’s recent updates to image search are a huge upgrade both aesthetically and in terms of consumer shopping experience. The new filter buttons work seamlessly with the ads, allowing customers to narrow down what they’re looking for and then be directed to a retailer who sells them.


It is clear that the majority of Google’s recent updates to image search have been focused around the online shopping experience. This is almost certainly an attempt to recapture the percentage of online shoppers who currently go directly to Amazon for shopping research.


Local retailer also got a boost by prominently featuring “in-store pick up” on local product pages. TechCrunch reported that Kohl’s was able to pilot this program for which they experienced a 40-50% increase in clicks.


All of these updates are going to dramatically impact mobile search and shopping. I think we can expect to see a pretty big surge this year in mobile shopping ad spend and conversions.