Google Shopping & AdWords, Should You?

Who Are The Top Players in Google Shopping & AdWords SearchMetrics, a leading global enterprise platform for search experience optimization, has released a white paper that identifies the top ten most important players in the two main advertising formats for Google search results. While AdWords has been the primary advertising format for many years, Product Listing Ads (Google Shopping) only emerged in 2013. Important AdWords Players AdWords is both a text-based and image-based ad format that is placed next to organic search results with campaigns defined by keywords. Website owners can purchase these ads through a pay-per-click model. Use of AdWords has remained fairly steady over the years, but this ad format does have higher SERP market coverage. From the data that SearchMetrics compiled, the curve for visibility during 2014 was similar to Product Listing Ads in terms of the months with the highest visibility and the summer slump period. The top 10 websites that were visible in terms of AdWords ads on Google SERPs were: The domains on this list of websites are primarily well-known retailers that have long relied on AdWords to be the cornerstone of their online advertising strategy. Major Product Listing Ads Players As the new ad format to the online search engine ad placement game, Product Listing Ads (PLAs), also known as Google Shopping, are photo-based ads that are displayed in product search results. The ad contains the name, price, and link to the reseller advertising that particular product. The ads are targeted by product group, and advertisers pay for clicks on these ads. This ad format has helped Google to better monetize certain product search queries. SearchMetrics found that, although PLAs cost more, they also are providing better results than AdWords, which could explain why they are growing so rapidly in terms of the number of integrations and amount of keywords with PLA integrations. However, in looking at 2014 results, PLAs experienced a summer slump in integrations. In studying weekly PLA visibility throughout 2014, SearchMetrics developed the top 10 websites that were visible in the Google Shopping box in the SERPs. These included: The list shows recognizable retail websites as well as online marketing networks. Conclusions Although PLAs are growing at a faster rate than AdWords, the pioneering ad format for search engines still remains strong in terms of use by websites, indicating that it will continue to be a significant income source for Google. There appear to be advantages and disadvantages to both ad formats that website owners must consider when formulating their online ad strategies. SearchMetrics concluded that PLAs appear to be a good bet given their return on investment, but this could change when and if Amazon decides to try PLAs in addition to, or as a replacement to, its traditional Google AdWords strategy. What happens remains to be seen in 2015 and beyond. However, what is known is that having this second ad format for search engine ad placement offers website owners more options going forward.