New Google Shopping Ads Test
It appears Google Shopping Ads are testing a new layout in their search results. This is something they do a lot of and they often repeat tests, which appears to be a re-run of a test they conducted in May 2016.
What is the test?
Google is experimenting with showing just 3 PLA (Product Listing Ads) at the top of the search results rather than the normal 6.
This testing appears to be just in the US at this time and it was spotted by Jennifer Slegg from http://www.thesempost.com who reported on it in her blog.
However, because it was a US only based test that does not mean it will not be adopted on a wider scale, should Google feel the need for further testing or decide that the tests were a success. Google often tests in one territory for a time before rolling out the changes globally.
The new layout has 3 ads displayed and gives more space to each. This leads to an interesting possibility of there being more room for extra text, larger or even multiple images. As discussed in Google Shopping Ads – What Will Change in 2017 post, should the test prove successful?
Benefits of 3 Ads instead of 6
- More room for descriptions or extra images
- Fewer competitors competing for the searcher’s attention
- The extra space makes the ads stand out more
You can see the difference when you look at how the ads are currently displayed for the same products.
The new 3 Ads results look less cluttered and command more attention as they look less like an ad block.
When will this go live?
In May 2016 Google ran a similar test, back then we had 5 shopping ads showing at the top of the search results. Google ran a test for 3, 4 and 6 ads to test what layout worked best and made the change to the 6 ads we have today.
There is no guarantee that Google will roll out this test and make it live and if they do it will probably not be for a few months.
Should they make this ‘live’ the shopping positions at the top of the page will become more competitive and potentially more profitable as there is more chance of the ads that do show getting clicked on.
If the change from 6 to 3 comes into place I would expect to see other features become available such as more detailed descriptions or multiple images. We may also see things like special offers being given a more prominent position and highlighted.
I would hope that a reduction in the number of ads displayed would also coincide with a more refined way that Google decides what ads to show, improving the relevancy of the ads displayed.
These changes if adopted give rise to opportunities that merchants can take advantage of, but there will be work involved. The titles and descriptions in the product feed will need to be optimised in order to be included in the shopping ad results.
Onefeed uses automated and manual account management to optimise your Google shopping feeds and ensure your cost of sale is on budget. The experienced team at Onefeed are well placed to ensure advantage of the opportunities Google present, can be taken.
For further information on how Onefeed increases revenue and decreases the Cost of Sale for their clients, please call on 0800 130 3140 to speak to the Google shopping experts.