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Video: The Latest on Product Ads with Google and Bing

For many advertisers, product ads are an important - and growing - component of their paid search programs. Data from RKG's Q1 Digital Marketing Report shows that PLAs now account for 50% of non-brand traffic on Google. But will the growth of product ads continue? How will the new Shopping Campaigns affect performance?

In this video, discover the latest on product ads for both Google and Bing. We'll discuss current and future Google PLA performance trends, detail how Bing's new product ads - recently out of beta - are stacking up, as well as how we think the new Shopping Campaigns will affect performance.


Ben Mars: Hi, I'm Ben Mars, Team Leader at RKG. I'm here today to talk to you about the ever growing and changing world of product ads, including Google Product Listing Ads and Bing Product Ads. It should come as no surprise that Google Product Listing Ads, also known as PLAs, are an extremely important part of the online search landscape.

If you look at RKG's most recent Digital Marketing Report, you'll see that 50% of non-brand clicks on Google now come from PLAs. Given the fact this figure has increased every quarter for the past three years, it stands to reason that PLAs will likely overtake non-brand text ads as the primary driver of non-brand traffic on Google at some point in 2014. Despite this consistent growth, PLAs still provide a higher return on investment than standard non-brand text ads, meaning that many advertisers would likely be better served funneling more of their advertising budget towards PLAs and away from standard text ads.

Just when we thought we had PLAs figured out, Google threw us a curveball in the form of Google Shopping Campaigns. Advertisers will be forced to transition to this new form of PLA advertising in August of 2014. As this is a forced transition, you may be wondering, "What effect will this transition have on advertising on PLAs on Google?"

If you think back to last year, when Google forced all advertisers to transition to Enhanced Campaigns, advertisers were really in a state of shock and outrage. But once all the dust settled there, we realized that the transition to Enhanced Campaigns was mainly a structural one and actually provided some nice benefits to advertisers.

We believe that Google Shopping Campaigns will be very similar to Enhanced Campaigns, and we actually do think there will be some benefits that come along from Google Shopping Campaigns. These benefits include direct insight into product level performance, insight into competitive metrics, such as cost per click and click-through rate, and finally, just better control over which targeting segment a given product will serve under within Google Shopping Campaigns.

While Google is certainly the main player in the product ads field, we shouldn't forget about Bing, as they have made great strides to improve their product ads offering as well. Bing Product Ads accounted for 12% of non-brand revenue in the first quarter of 2014, as compared with only 8% in the fourth quarter of 2013. It's also worth noting that Bing Product Ads only came out of beta at the very end of the first quarter of 2014, which means we'll likely see continued or even accelerated growth of this product through the rest of the year 2014. Finally, it's worth noting that ROI for Bing Product Ads is also higher than the ROI for non-brand text ads on Bing. So same logic applies here as applied to Google, that advertisers would probably be well-served funneling more of their budget towards Bing Product Ads versus non-brand text ads.

Across advertising platforms, product ads are becoming an increasingly important part of the online search experience, and we're very excited to see where these go on both Google and Bing. That's all I've got for you today. Thank you for joining us for another video on the RKG blog!

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