In a move that is fairly baffling, but is likely to excite Shopping Campaign users, Product Listing Ads are going to start appearing on Google Search Network e-Commerce and retail sites.
According to Google, PLAs will be showing up next to product search results on certain retail and e-Commerce sites in the Google Search Network. Right now, only a limited number of websites are participating, one of which is Walmart.com, but they expect to expand the number of sites showing these ads over time. What is completely strange to me is that ads will show up next to product search results.
For example, if you search for a Logitech Wireless Mouse on Walmart.com, you’ll also see PLAs for the same or similar products from another retailer’s site. The AdWords Blog states that participating websites are looking to monetize web traffic, so Walmart and other sites will get paid for clicks, but will it be more money than they would have made by selling the product listed on their site?
I’m using a Logitech Mouse as an example, which is probably not a huge profit maker for Walmart, but the example AdWords uses is for tailgating grills, which would represent a much larger loss if someone opted for a competitor. It’s no wonder that Google has only been able to get a few select websites to participate in what seems to me to be advertising your competitor as someone gets into the checkout line.
I guess the theory is that if someone doesn’t find what they’re looking for on the Walmart site, (which boggles the mind – my local Walmart sells, I am not making this up, moonshine) Walmart will still make some money off of the ad click, but that seems to be a stretch to me. Still, if you’re an advertiser, having your products showing up on Walmart.com probably sounds like an excellent idea.