Advertisers have flocked to Google AdWords Product Listing Ads (PLAs) since Google Shopping transitioned to a paid model last fall. A new study by AdGooroo estimates more than 4 billion PLAs were displayed in the U.S. from March to May 2013, accounting for 5.9% (71.7 billion) of the total of ad impressions in that period.
But some advertisers are clearly more devoted to PLAs than others. Eight of the top 20 PLA advertisers (highlighted in yellow in the chart below), actually racked up more impressions from PLAs than text ads, according to AdGooroo’s estimates. Mass retailers Toysrus.com and Staples.com garnered more impressions from PLAs than from text ads. Rakuten.com, formerly Buy.com, put the bulk of its PPC efforts into PLAs.
As for which advertisers took hold of the PLA market, AdGooroo found that Walmart.com dominated PLA impressions, while eBay seems to have advertised everything — except, perhaps, the kitchen sink.
eBay advertised nearly half a million unique products from March through May 2013, nearly 4 times more than the runner-up, Walmart.com. Another marketplace, and relative newcomer to paid search, Etsy, ranked third for the number of unique products advertised.
Walmart.com, however, grabbed over 2 times more impressions than the next top advertiser, eBay. Here’s AdGooroo’s top 20 by impressions:
It will be interesting to watch and see if the eight advertisers that won more PLA than text ad impressions are on the leading edge of a trend to put more focus on product listing ads — and pull back on text ads. It also points to reasons why Google has been spotted testing new formats that give PLAs more exposure and testing AdWords image extensions to bring visual options to more advertisers.
Bing Ads has taken notice of Google’s success with PLAs and said they’ll launch their own version of Product Ads at some point this summer.