Google Shuts Shop on Product Listing Ads

It’s been three months since Google made the announcement that the old style Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns were being retired, and that Google Shopping campaigns were being officially rolled out to all PLA advertisers. If you haven’t made the switch over by 31st August, your existing PLA campaigns will be forcibly ‘upgraded’. So what does this upgrade mean for your e-commerce strategy?

The facts:

  • The transition to Google Shopping campaigns will not be noticeable by the user; the search engine results pages (SERPs) will physically look the same.
  • There are more features available in the new style Shopping campaigns, offering advertisers more control through proactive management of their campaigns.
  • Because of the extensive features available, Google Shopping campaigns can be structured on a more granular level, meaning advertisers will be able to map their products with improved accuracy to the user’s search query.
  • Shopping Campaigns product groups (the new name for ‘ad group’ structure) works in the opposite way to old PLAs. PLAs used to be built out from your inventory data, but Google Shopping replaces ad groups with product groups, and segments parts of the inventory. Product groups within Shopping campaigns are a sub-set of the ‘All Products’ ad group, and any further product group is a sub-set of another product group. 

Because the new structuring is more granular, when done correctly the changes made to the campaign format will improve product mapping to user query, thus serving more relevant adverts to your target audience. This will generate an increase in traffic quality, which will ultimately have a positive impact on click-through rates, conversion rates and ultimately, your ROI. 

If you haven’t made the change already, you need to take control and act now. There is still enough time to create new Shopping campaigns and test them, whilst having the option to revert back to the old PLAs, should you need to make any changes to the campaign structure. 

This switch certainly presents a challenge for marketers; after all, significant changes are being made to your campaign structure and bidding strategy. But it also presents an excellent opportunity to build a more sophisticated type of campaign that will ultimately enable advertisers to engage with users in more refined, accurate manner.