Google has been running several experiments on the way it displays product listing ads (PLAs) in the search results. We’ve seen ads grouped in pricing buckets, PLAs showing in knowledge panels, and now, PLAs segmented by brand.
While researching Chromebooks, Samuel Edwards at Tenthwave Digital saw the result below which groups product listing ads by brand. Samsung brand Chromebooks are displayed above a second grouping of HP brand laptops, followed by an “Other brands” category. (Note that there is actually an HP product relegated among the Other Brands.)
This format puts a whopping 12 PLAs on the page, with three text ads appearing below the PLA block. The pricing segment test — which I haven’t seen in the wild and may have been retired — only showed the more typical 8 PLAs.
I’ve been able to replicate this type of result, though with Acer replacing Samsung at the top of the heap, which raises the question of how Google decides which brands to feature in the results. So far, I haven’t found other examples of this type of brand segmentation in PLAs. If it works, Google will expand it to more queries.
Google added ratings to product listing ads in the U.S. in July and transitioned all PLAs to the new Shopping Campaigns type at the start of this month. PLAs have been a huge success for Google, RKG reported image-based product ads accounted for half of non-brand clicks among among its large retail client base running both text and product ads.
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