Google Announces Changes to PLAs

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Google is in the process of making some major changes to product listing ads (PLAs), with new Showcase Shopping allowing users to browse product collections from online retailers as well as local retailers. Along with the introduction of Showcase Shopping, Google has also introduced more advertising opportunities using TrueView, and an automated currency conversion tool.

So, what are the updates exactly?

Showcase Shopping For Broad Search Queries

Google Showcase Shopping

The biggest change sees an overhaul for Shopping, with a new ad format for broad terms, which are not brand specific, e.g. “summer dresses”. Google stated that these broad search terms account for 40% of all product queries.

Where Google previously presented users with individual products for these broad search queries, the search engine will now show users what is being referred to as Showcase Shopping Ads. This is where ads will appear on a carousel with a main image and two smaller images related to the search term used. The ad will also feature space for a promotional message or details of the location of the advertiser. Once clicked, the ad will take the user to a Google-hosted page featuring the related products from the retailer’s ad.

Advertisers using the new format will be charged when a user clicks on one of their products featured on the Google-hosted landing page, taking them to the retailer’s site. When the user clicks on the products from the initial SERPs page, however, the advertiser will not be charged.

Showcase Shopping ads will begin to affect advertisers that are already running Shopping campaigns in UK, the US, and Australia as soon as July 2016.

More Branding Opportunity On TrueView

Trueview ads

Merchants currently running TrueView for Shopping ads may soon have the opportunity to use more branding. Google will be rolling out clearer branding with Trueview ads – a banner featuring a carousel of products that is scrollable while the video content runs, and a product picker that will give advertisers the opportunity to prioritise particular products.

Currency Conversion Test In PLAs

Finally, Google also announced a new tool for use with PLAs – an automatic currency converter. This will show the price of the product in the original currency from the country of origin, as well as that of the user’s location. This new tool is being tested in the UK, Australia, Canada and Switzerland at present.

Want to learn more about how Google’s latest changes to PLAs could help your paid search strategy? Contact our PPC management team for more advice.

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