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Google Tests New Design With 16 Product Listing Ads; Which Brands Benefit Most?

Google may be testing a new way to display Product Listing Ads (PLA) by allowing users to expand the results from a few products to many, right in the search results. This feature was spotted by the Rimm-Kaufman Group.

Here’s what a standard PLA can look like:


Image Credit: RKG

RKG pointed out that when clicking on the newly featured arrow at the bottom of the PLA area, it expanded the results from five products to 16.


Image Credit: RKG

This presents a huge opportunity for advertisers taking advantage of PLAs. But who will win?

In an attempt to better understand PLA performance, AdGooroo conducted a study, citing that Google reports make it difficult for advertisers to monitor ad position or total PLA impressions.

So from March 2013 to May 2013, AdGooroo uncovered the Top 20 brands for U.S.-based PLAs from ad impressions. Not surprisingly, the big-name brands were aggressively targeting potential shoppers through PLAs with Walmart holding the No. 1 position, according to the study.


AdGooroo estimated in the three-month study that PLAs made up nearly 6 percent of all AdWords PPC ad impressions. Of the Top 20 brands AdGooroo examined, it found some were more dedicated to PLAs than others.

“Eight of the Top 20 advertisers actually had more PLA impressions than text ad impressions during the period. Most of these PLA devotees are smaller, relative newcomers like Etsy and, suggesting that PLAs may be a viable alternative to text ads for smaller players to gain visibility and clicks. At the same time, two large, traditional retail brands, Staples and Toys R Us, also managed to display more PLA than traditional PPC text ads.”


AdGoroo drilled down further by showing what percentage of total AdWords ads were PLAs by category:


If you’re new to PLAs and interested in learning more, check out this article on how to maximize return with PLAs.

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