3 of Google's Highly Illusive PLA Experiments in 2013 That We Want Back

By Tinuiti Team

When you keep a keen eye on Google Shopping 24/7, you’ll start to notice some interesting, often game-changing tests concocted by the creative minds over at Google. These experiments sometimes last for just a few hours, but rest assured, anything is permanent with a screenshot.

(Not Google Shopping related, but have we all forgotten about the infamous Southwest banner ad experiment?)

Here are 3 Google Shopping experiments that we hope to see employed full-time in 2014:

3. Price Change Call-Outs


The “Price dropped 59%” call-out is a huge differentiator for your product listings on a comparison page. Your products have the opportunity to stand out even if it’s not the lowest price.

Director of Account Management Jeff “Papa” Coleman believes it’s possible that Google knows the price dropped by keeping a running average of the product price (from your feed) over the past 90 days.

2. Increased Product Listing Ad Exposure

The interesting thing about this experiment was that Google gave precedent to Product Listing Ads over their traditional cash cow, AdWords text ads. Though this only lasted about a day, the test is a clear nod to the fact that PLA display ads click-through at much higher rates than traditional text ads. See the images below.

A typical SERP for the query “palm ceiling fans” would have PLAs either below or to the side of text ads.

But Google was spotted testing PLAs above AdWords text ads:


1. Instant Google Shopping Results

Though this is probably the least likely to come into fruition, this is my personal favorite. This test seemed to last for only about a mere hour. Nevertheless, it’s evidence of Google strongly pushing searchers towards Shopping/retail results.


Clicking through on these “Instant” Product Listing results takes you to the standard comparison page you would find when searching for the product on Google Shopping, so it doesn’t give any specific retailer an advantage.

Hear about more Google experiments and innovations in The Product Listing Ads Guide 2.0, coming out 2/19.


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