Google Tests 16 Product Listing Ads On SERP: What Online Merchants Should Do

Recently, Google was spotted testing Google Shopping search results pages with up to 16 product listing ads.

The Google SERP highlighted feature an expansion arrow below traditional Product Listing Ads which allows users to view additional PLA ads within search:

Product Listing Ads16 Product

The arrow expands the Product Listing Ads selection for the product search, pushing search results farther down on the page.

In this example shoe search, Product Listing Ads results expand from 5 to 16:

The test is no longer live, which highlights how much organic search real estate the expanded ads would push down if Google chose to retain the arrow feature:

Product Listing Ads 16 PLAs on SERP

It’s also interesting to note the number of Product Listing Ads available for the search results on the Shopping tab.

The number of Product Listing Ads visible on the SERP page with the expansion arrow is only slightly less (16) than those available visible on the Google Shopping page (20):

Product Listing Ads Search vs. Google Shopping

What Does Expanded Product Listing Ads Mean For Online Merchants?

Product Listing Ads convert well, and have the most traffic, revenue and the lowest cost of sale among the shopping channels. Additionally, Product Listing Ads generate more impressions than text ads. For Google, more Product Listing Ads means more revenue, so it’s likely Google will move to further promote the visual ads.

What You Should Do About It

If you sell online, Product Listing Ads is likely already a large part of your marketing campaign. Google tests like this highlight the importance of optimizing your existing Product Listing Ads Campaign.

Here are some places you should start.

  • Product Titles And DescriptionsOptimize your product titles and descriptions for search.
  • Product Images: Make sure the product images you are sending to Google have the correct format and are useful to users.
  • PLA Ad Groups: Break out your Product Listing Ads campaign for best sellers, brands and other product attributes based on what performs in Analytics.

About the AuthorMary Weinstein is the Director of Content at CPC Strategy, and an expert in Retail Search, Google Shopping and Digital Marketing. A NY native, Mary spends her time educating online merchants, hiking and drinking copious amounts of coffee. You can also find her work on SEW, SEMRush, MOZ and Practical Ecommerce. See all posts by this author here.