New PPC Trend? Staples & Toys”R”Us Among Top Advertisers With More Impressions From PLAs Than Text Ads [AdGooroo Study]

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.

Advertisers Running More PLA than Text Ad AdGooroo

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.

PLA 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:

Top 20 Product Listing Ads Advertisers Mar-May 2013It 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.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords | Search Ads: Product Ads | Top News

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About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter



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  • Daniel Fisher

    “…while eBay seems to have advertised everything — except, perhaps, the kitchen sink.” Perhaps the best line I’ve ever read today. Very insightful article!

  • http://www.eeaust.com.au/project-management-courses.html‎ Project management course

    Increasing in Google Product listing trends is simultaneously increasing the PPC rates. now it’s very difficult to compete small with this. Google also must consider the local adwords programs.

  • Gregg Manias

    I would love to see this exact report 2 quarters from now. I’d be interested in seeing how many companies begin to reduce there PPC impressions in favor of PLA.

    I have a lot of clients that no matter how well it is optimized they just can’t get as consistent of performance from PPC as they do from PLA.

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