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Google Shifts Merchants to Shopping Campaigns

Product Listing Ads (PLA) represented a significant shift for ecommerce pros who had been previously been able to promote products through Google Shopping for free. Google has supported this new emphasis with AdWords updates in recent months. By late summer, advertisers will find an even bigger change for PLA campaigns set into place.

Those updates will be expanded upon very soon according to Google. February’s Google Shopping campaigns and March’s API support for AdWords generated “great feedback” according to Inside AdWords, and some new supporting features are on the way.

A Bid Simulator for all Shopping campaigns looks like a compelling tool for planning one’s PLA bidding. This feature presents a visual estimate of a campaign’s potential clicks, costs, and impressions, based on a given bid.

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Sellers who are new to Shopping campaigns will find support for creating their first one. New options should make it easier to create either a brand new campaign, or to adapt an existing PLA campaign and tweak its targets, keywords, and promotional text. Advertisers who wish to create multiple ad groups can now do this within a Shopping campaign.

But the most significant aspect of Google’s changes comes this summer. Advertisers will be encouraged to upgrade current PLA campaigns to Shopping campaigns over the next few months, as Google plans to retire the regular PLA campaigns.

Google wants to have advertisers migrated by late August 2014. At that time, all regular PLA campaigns that haven’t been moved to Shopping will be migrated automatically. During the interim period the company plans to make more information and tools available to help advertisers with the transition.

You can find more information on this Google Inside AdWords blog post.

David A Utter on LinkedinDavid A Utter on Twitter
David A Utter

David A. Utter is a freelance writer based in Lexington, KY. He has covered technology topics from search to security to online business and has been quoted in places like ZDNet and BusinessWeek. He considers his appearance on NPR’s “All Things Considered” with long-time host Robert Siegel a delightful highlight. You can find him on Twitter @davidautter and on LinkedIn.


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