Google’s got a new Shopping ad test — and it’s a weird one

A Shopping ad is accompanied by a clickable text unit.

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Google is running a format-blending Shopping ads test that is, well, interesting.

PLA + Text. The folks at SEMrush spotted this Shopping ad test Thursday. In the screenshot below, the product listing ad (PLA) for Body Candy Body Jewelry is accompanied by a text block below it with a blue linked headline and description (more on the copy in a bit).

The text is still in the Ads card, but as SEMrush notes, the average person is unlikely to understand it’s not an organic listing.

Where does the text come from? This is actually a twist on a Showcase Shopping ad format.

If you search for “earrings for gauged ears” you may see Showcase Shopping ads instead of the traditional Shopping ads above. It turns out Google is pulling the headline and copy from the company’s Showcase Shopping landing page, as you can see below.

Clicking the headline in the ad will take you to this page.

Showcase Shopping Text Shown In Pla Block
The copy on the Showcase Shopping landing page is what is appearing in the “text ad” in the Shopping ad carousel test.

Why we care. It’s certainly an interesting blending of formats. Google is always experimenting, of course, and there’s no telling if this will go anywhere.

We’ve learned this is is a very small test running in the U.S., so the likelihood you’ll see it now is low. Whether the test expands or not will depend on performance and feedback.

Here’s a full look at the screenshot.

Text ad accompanying Google product listing ad test
Screenshot: SEMrush

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was Third Door Media’s former Editor-in-Chief (October 2018 to December 2020), running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, MarTech and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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