After a quiet launch in November 2011, Google product ads are now live in USA, UK, France, Germany, Holland and Switzerland. The new product ads are likely to be shown in many different shapes and formats; all being set-up in Google Adwords.
What are Product extension ads and product listing ads?
The new advertisements come in two different formats; product listing ads and product extensions. They are so far only available to a limited number of products, usually the most competitive sectors with a wide range of advertisers. It’s likely that images can appear in various formats in order to blend in with the search result listings naturally.
Typical products in highly competitive segments could of course show images more frequently.
Some characteristics of the new Google adverts include
In order to join the program, you can upload your products in XML format, containing the following elements:
- Id [id]: Your internal ID code for the product in question.
- Title [title]: The name of the item; maximum 70 characters.
- Link [link]: Direct link to the product.
- Price [price]: Fixed price in local currency.
- Description [description]: Only non promotional descriptions are allowed; maximum 10 000 characters.
- Condition [condition]: Explain if the item are new, used or refurbished.
- Image link [image_link]: The url for an associated product image in the format 400×400 pixels.
Image adverts and CTR
Adding a clearly visible and interesting photo next to the adverts are likely to increase CTR
heavily. Many of the first adopters of the new product ads might be able to attract considerable higher CTR than usual with ‘normal Adwords ads’. Even though many of the product ads SEO Specialist found today don’t have any images, we believe that photos are what people like to see in the ads.
Expect many more ads with images in the near future, while reviews, Google plus images and several product prices in one ad might further lead to higher CTR. However, we find it surprising that the new product ads tend to have white background, making it harder for users to distinguish between ads and organic search engine listings.