Google Testing Expanded Product Listing Ads from 5 to 16

By Ian Franklin, February 16th 2016 in Ecommerce
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So it seems the big G has been testing the effectiveness of PLA’s against its text counterparts. Channel Advisor in The USA search industry picked up an expandable PLA icon (see below) that when clicked effectively “shoved” paid text ads (both RHS and top 3) down the rankings and expanded to show 16 PLA listings.

(Image Source:

(Image Source:


(Image Source:

(Image Source:

Why is this a good thing?

Because people who are shopping on Google are looking to buy, think about it. If you were in the market, would you buy from a text ad that described the product, or would you begin your purchase able to see the product you actually wanted? If only we could include a special offer or promotion in the copy….? (It’s OK, you can)

If you’re selling online, here’s the best news of all. In a study (yep in the US, heaven forbid they test something in the UK first!) In our analysis of or e-commerce customers we found that PLA’s made up 60% of its ad clicks and CTR was 90% higher than text ads and they convert better too.

Ohhh I hear you ask… so if we look at the stats, PLA spend (that means more people are spending on it because it’s working) is rising by about 44% YOY as opposed  to  a 7.5% spend growth on text ads, that works out to a 1% click increase (sorry text, but the pics win )

So to sum up, if you’re advertising a product on Google or Bing shopping, it’s good practise to have a PLA listing if you sell online. Because at the end of the day, if you have different ads you have more chance of showing for your products in various different ad spaces available. Try to always have these set up in your campaigns

  • A relevant text ad to the product
  • An ad that shows an image and a special offer (PLA or Google Shopping)
  • An ad that dynamically showed you exactly what you were looking for

All of the above? Good Idea….

We are waiting for the 16 images ad set to come the UK and give them a test.


Ian Franklin

With vast experience in marketing Ian is what we like to call an all rounder. With a love for PPC, Ecommerce and social he loves a multi- media plan! Being a family man he often brings in baked treats from the weekend, which we all love!

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