The Product Data Lab

Google are testing new shopping ad (PLA) formats

Google is currently in the process of testing a new and quite unusual Product Listing Ad (Shopping Ad), unusual in that it is the largest ad that has ever been seen in their search results.  

The Shopping Ad is a combination between a Knowledge Panel and a standard Shopping Ad, but it totally dominates the right hand side of the search results.

This large format included the following:

  • A sponsored tag at the top.
  • The product name.
  • Customer review, in the form of the star rating.  
  • A product image.
  • Stores that the product is currently available at (through shopping ad listings).
  • Condition of product including "refurbished" and "used".
  • Product Price including "free shipping" and "no tax" as options.


The way in which pricing is listed, makes it much more obvious to consumers which is the best priced.  Making it ever more essential for retailers to be competitive across their entire product catalogue.

Then come the elements you would normally expect to see in a knowledge panel including the full product specification. Google have also included similar products to make it easier for consumers to compare product ranges in addition to those that match their specific search term.

Below is an example of how the full ad will appear within the search results so you can get a full idea of just how big this ad is, along with how this will feature alongside both PPC and organic search results.


Although advertisers will love these new formats if they are released post testing, regular PPC advertisers may find these hard to compete with.  Consumer search results will also be dominated by these large ad formats, although based on the richness of the content retailers would benefit from a more informed consumer.

These new formats may result in additional changes to the product feed content needed to power the ads, as a retailer is it vital keep on top of the latest changes and make sure that product data feeds are fully optimised and compliant.  

View our white paper on Data Quality and learn some of the key issues global retailers face with their product data feeds today, along with finding out top tips on maximising your product content from industry experts.