Spotted: Google Knowledge Graph Ad Tests New Google Shopping PLA Display

Google keeps testing new ways to inject ads into its Knowledge Graph. SEOBook’s Aaron Wall spotted an ad appearing in a stand-alone panel that replicates the look of (and is shown above) the organic Knowledge Graph.

We’ve seen Knowledge Graph ads featuring Google local listings pulled from Google+ and streaming services, including Google Play, but this appears to be the first instance of Google Shopping powering Knowledge Graph ads.

Clicking on the “i” icon next to the Sponsored tag displays a pop-up message explaining that the ad is being served because “we think you are trying to find a product.” This is the same notice that appears above traditional Product Listing Ads. The ad links to the Google Shopping results page for the book.

Google Knowledge Graph Ad For Books

That one review featured in the Knowledge Graph ad comes from Google+, which is featured in the Google Shopping listing. (The Barnes & Noble page, linked to in the organic Knowledge Graph panel below, includes 26 reviews.)

I was able to replicate this on a desktop, but have not seen it on mobile yet. A traditional text ad from Amazon — which still refuses to participate in Google Shopping — often appeared in the top position in both mobile and desktop results in my testing.

Essentially, we are looking at a new display of a Google Product Listing Ad. Compare this to the current presentation of PLAs for the book “Good to Great.” Here the PLAs also push down the organic Knowledge Graph with a visual repeat of the book jacket.

Google PLAs for books

The Knowledge Graph version is more subtle and substitutes the “Shop for…” link at the top of a series of ads with a more subtle link on the book title to the product page on Google Shopping. The “Barnes & Noble” link in the ad panel also looks very similar to the “Barnes & Noble” link in the organic panel.