Google Product Search Transition: More Information on Google Product Ads

Google Product Ads are ad formats that use your Google Merchant Center listings. The first step in using them is to link your AdWords account with your Google Merchant Center account.

There are two formats of Google Product Ads:

  1. Product Listing Ads: Standalone ad format that appear next to AdWords ads on Google search results pages
  2. Product Extensions:  Let you add product information to your basic AdWords text ads 

Product Listing Ads

  • Standalone ad format that uses your Google Merchant Center listings (linking of AdWords and Merchant Center required)
  • Pay per click: you set a maximum cost per click (CPC) on the ad group level in AdWords 
  • Some Merchants may be eligible to use cost per action (CPA) bids in their campaigns.
  • Not the same as "regular", free product search listings

Note that "regular" product search listings are going away after October 2012. They will be replaced by Product Listing Ads and other similar ad formats.

Google is currently experimenting with the placement of all ad formats, but Product Listing Ads are typically found above AdWords text ads on the right hand side of the screen. Two different forms or Product Listing Ads are shown below. Note that each type links from a product specific element to the merchant's own website.



Product Extensions

  • Similar to Product Listing Ads but rather than being standalone formats, these will be shown with your regular AdWords text ads
  • The general idea is that the AdWords text ad is an "intro" to your store and the product extensions show the actual products from your site directly related to the users search query 
  • CPC (or CPA for eligible merchants)

How to run Product Ads smartly?

Right now you have a great opportunity to get more familiar with Product Ads and try different optimization methods. Assuming that you have already linked your AdWords and Merchant Center accounts and have created Product Listing campaigns, here are some things to do:

  • First, make sure you are tracking clicks and orders through SingleFeed or with a 3rd party solution. 
  • Test different maximum bid levels in AdWords to find a level you are comfortable with and produces the desired number of clicks
  • Control your spend with daily budgets. Start small and increase as your results improve

To further optimize which listings are shown by AdWords:

  • Split your campaign into several ad groups based on how your data feed is divided into different categories, different brands etc.
  • Inside the ad groups, use product targets and product filters to tell AdWords which products to use from your feed. For example, use products with this product type value, this brand etc. in this ad group
  • You can also include special fields in your feed for the purposes of AdWords targeting (adwords_grouping, adwords_labels). More on them here.
  • You cannot use keywords with Product Listing Ads, but you can use negative keywords. This can be a very effective way to limit your listings from showing with unrelated or too general search queries. 
  • Exclude specific products from being used with the 'adwords_publish' field

See these Google sources for additional information:

Linking AdWords and Merchant Center accounts

Getting Started with Product Ads

Getting Product Ads Set Up and Optimized


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