Product Listing Ads (PLAs) perform in ways that simple text ads cannot. Depending on the search criteria they do not always appear but when they do, it is in between the traditional PPC text ads and the user’s results. PLAs contain three core components: an image related to the search query, the price of the item and the name of the store selling the item. Why are Product Listing Ads important? Because the adage “an image is worth a thousand words” is still relevant even in our online digital world.

Before you begin searching the web on how to utilize PLAs, you should know that Google plans on retiring the old system for their new Google Shopping Campaigns. Along with Google Merchant Tools and Adwords, Google Shopping Campaigns will make it easier for sellers to categorize their products into groups and bid on them. Once an account has been created and linked with Merchant Tools and Adwords, the creator has several tools available to help shape their campaign.

This is just a brief listing of what will be able to those who complete the transition…

  • Bid Simulator
  • Campaign priorities
  • Ad Scheduling
  • Inventory filters

One thing that will remain the same is how the ads will appear to the user. According to Google, the only thing that is changing is the managing, monitoring and optimising of campaigns. The placement of the ads, the networks they are visible on and the components of the ads will remain the same. Management will now come in the form of product group not product targets. After the objects are clustered into their desired attributes, bids can be made on the group. For example, a store that specialises in sport equipment may have product groups that separate items by men, women and kids. Once the initial groups have been created, a number of more specific groups could be created such as equipment or apparel.

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