Google Is Conducting Tests On Product Listing Ads

Chad Faith
Chad Faith

Director of Content

Google Is Conducting Tests On Product Listing Ads

Google is known to ramp up their testing efforts every few months, especially in things that are related to Product Listing Ads and AdWords. All in all, it is certainly good news to know that Google is continually testing and innovating Product Listing Ads and AdWords, since it gives both advertisers and marketers fresh ways to target their customers.

The Emojis Test

Previously there was news saying that users can add emojis to the display URLs of their product listing ads! While that was true, it is no longer permitted. Before the no-emoji rule: “Repeated and unnecessary use of punctuation, capitalization, or symbols (For example, using emoticons, emoji, etc.” was implemented users were able to show wide variety of emojis in PLAs. What’s more, those emojis could be displayed in single color or full color.

When users or advertisers wanted to show emojis in their PLAs, they had to add the emoji directly into the name settings within the merchant settings. If done correctly, the emoji will show up when the product listing ad is displayed on the search results. If you have always wanted to display fun symbols in your ads, all hope is not lost. It seems that you can still add emojis in your Google Adwords ad copy.

The Expandable Test

This is probably one of the most interesting tests every conducted by Google. Google broke the news that it was testing an expandable PLA in their SERPs. The test was designed to expand the standard PLA box to 16 individual product listings. Yes, all within the search results page. When a searcher views the ad unit, it will look like a traditional 4 product PLA at the top of the organic search results. However, there is a small arrow (located at the bottom right corner) that can be pressed. When pressed, the ad unit expands and ‘pushes’ down both the regular and organic AdWords ads further down on the page.

So will there be an official expandable PLA unit launch? Right now, it is still hard to say. Google, however, could have acquired a substantial amount of data from tracking how much interaction occurred during the test. Hence, there might be a possibility that everyone will see more of this functionality in the near future.

The Scrollable Carousel Test

It has been a while since Google tested a scrollable carousel that was designed to showcase best-selling products in search results, for both desktop and mobile platforms. Yes, the carousel featured top-rated products right in Google’s image search results. This carousel is located directly below the line which displays the grouping of images; the ones that allow you to narrow down your image search. The relatively new addition was the perfect visual complement to traditional search results, and it is actually a pilot test by Google, with regards to placing PLAs on their image search results.

Since the image results PLAs are now available in carousel format, searchers can scroll through images be swiping on mobile or clicking arrows scrolls. One thing to note is that Google is setting a limit to the number of individual PLAs that can appear in image search results. Currently, that number is 15. The test, however, caused some advertisers to wonder whether searchers are aware that they are clicking an ad or not (because they look like ordinary image search results. If you have the same concerns, you should keep track of your ROI very closely to how well these ads perform.