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Automatic Item Updates for PLAs introduced on Google

Internet Marketing Services

Updated on Oct 29, 2014

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A Product Listing Ad (PLA) is different from a standard AdWords ad display. A PLA can include features like an image of the product being sold, a price, a product title, and information about your store or business. A PLA is similar in many ways to an affiliate listing which is intended to feature a single product.

Up until recently, information about a product being advertised through the Product Listing Ad program could appear in two places at once. The first was the ad itself. Secondly, up-to-date information about the product also appeared in a site's feed or catalog including or featuring that product. If the two sets of information were different, Google generally would disapprove the PLA. The justification for this was that the ad could end up showing a very different price from the store, making customers think they were being bait-and-switched.

Now Google has created a new feature for both PLA and "Shopping Campaigns" which allow an advertiser to set their PLA to automatically update based on the most recent information available in their product feed or on their site's product catalog. These are called Automatic Item Updates for PLAs. This helps retailers maintain consistent visibility in PLAs. Google will not guarantee a product ad in a shopping campaign will be approved, but they do report that PLAs and shopping campaigns have seen a 50% reduction in overall disapproval rates when there is a discrepancy between the advertised price and the store price.

Google's primary interest is the satisfaction level of shoppers who click on their ads. If the advertised price matches the store price, and shoppers feel like they are getting the deal they are responding to, this not only helps the store, but it helps Google's advertising program as well. If shoppers click on a Google ad and are unable to find the price or product they wanted, that reduces confidence in Google's advertising and costs both Google and the store owner money.

Before you are able to enable automatic item updates, retailers must implement microdata from schema.org on their site. Store owners are encouraged to frequently update their feeds to provide the best overall customer experience. This program goes hand in hand with that advice. From a technical standpoint, this new feature is an obvious next step. RSS feeds were meant to automate the process of notifying readers. Having the same data update advertising improves the experience for everyone.

Searchoptics.com is a leader in digital marketing solutions for the automotive industry. Search Optics interactive marketing services include custom websites, search engine optimization, paid search and mobile solutions that generate leads which result in sales opportunities. Search Optics specializes in automotive digital marketing and automotive marketing services.
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