Changes to Google PLAs (and what that means for you)

23 July 2012 | Nextag News


On May 31st, Google announced plans to transition their free Google Product Search (GPS) to a purely commercial model based on Product Listing Ads (PLAs). The resulting experience is called Google Shopping, and is expected to be fully implemented by this fall. The ultimate goal is to improve the shopping experience by improving the accuracy and recency of product data. As a part of your partnership with Nextag, we are already navigating this landscape on your behalf. In the meantime, what changes can you expect in the near future?

  • PLA usage will increase. An estimated 5-10% of search traffic for retailers comes from GPS (source: IgnitionOne). As GPS is phased out, this traffic will be up for grabs, and PLAs will undoubtedly play a larger role in merchant bidding strategies.
  • Results page layout will change. As the transition progresses, expect Google to experiment with the page layout for their search results in order to find the optimal configuration. These new layouts may affect the performance of your other bidding vehicles. For example, these sample layouts show that PLAs may displace AdWords.
  • New PLA bidding options will be offered. Google has already announced their plans to allow “the opportunity to market special offers” (i.e. “30% off all refracting telescopes”). As Google Shopping matures, there will likely be other bidding features and options released to help merchants differentiate themselves – for a price.


You can find a complete list of current Google Shopping policies here.

As a Nextag merchant, you can rest knowing that we will be keeping a close eye on the progression of Google Shopping and its effect on your business. Regardless of the current or future structure, our strategies are always designed to maximize our merchants’ return on investment. If you would like to opt-out of this value added service, please contact us at

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