Search Engine Marketing

Does Google Rank PLAs Differently On Google Shopping & Standard SERPs?

Google Product Listing Ads

Recently, Hannah, a Google AdWords community manager posted the following question on the AdWords discussion forum:

Is the ranking of PLAs on Google search different to the ranking of products on Google shopping pages?

This question was answered by Kat, a Google employee:

In some circumstances, you may notice differences in how your products are serving or ranking on Google with PLAs versus Google Shopping. For example, you may see your items showing/ranking on the former but not showing/ranking on the latter. This behavior may happen, and could vary, based on several factors. Reasons why this may happen can include:

  • The available real estate is different between the two properties. On, there is less space to show PLAs while the Shopping property has more space.
  • The auction dynamics can be different between the two properties and, as such, the results may also be slightly different.
  • For some queries, Google Shopping may present results via a catalog (specific product page) instead of individual merchant listings while Google does not display these catalogs.

Improvements are continually being made to the system and, over time, these improvements can help further unify the results between the two properties but, on occasion, differences between results may be seen.

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Google AdWords Now Includes Ad Extensions In Ad Rank Calculation

Google AdWords just updated Ad Rank, the algorithm that decided what position to show your ad. Previously, Ad Rank was calculated by using your max CPC bid and your Quality Score. With this update, Ad Rank will also take into account the expected impact from your ad extensions and formats.


Here are some notes from Google:

  • Ad extensions and formats can now influence the position of your ad on the search results page. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.
  • When estimating the expected impact of extensions and ad formats, we consider such factors as the relevance, clickthrough rates, and the prominence of the extensions or formats on the search results page.
  • Because Ad Rank is now more important in determining whether your ad is shown with extensions and formats, you might need to increase your Quality Score, bid, or both for extensions and formats to appear.
  • In each auction, we’ll generally show your highest performing and most useful combination of extensions and formats among those eligible. So there’s no need to try to guess which extensions will help improve your clickthrough rate the most.
  • You may see lower or higher average CPCs in your account. You may see lower CPCs if your extensions and formats are highly relevant, and we expect a large positive performance impact relative to other competitors in the auction. In other cases, you may see higher CPCs because of an improvement in ad position or increased competition from other ads with a high expected impact from formats.
  • For now, this update only affects search ads appearing on Google Search.

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HOW TO: Track Conversions For Up To 90 Days In Google AdWords

Google just released the ability to track conversions for up to 90 days in AdWords. Previously conversion were only tracked for a set 30 day window. Now you can select from 7 to 90 days, depending on what fits well with your tracking goals.

Here’s how…

Go to AdWords –> Tools & Analysis –> Conversions. In the table listing your conversions you will see a new column called ‘Conversion Window.’ Click on the conversion window and you can edit it inline.

AW CL 9-23

You will need to have conversion tracking set up for this to work.

HOW TO: Import Offline Conversions Into AdWords

Recently, Google AdWords introduced the ability to import offline sales data. If you get a lot of phone sales, you’ll want to do this. Google says:

Sometimes, a click on an AdWords ad does not lead directly to an online sale, but instead starts a customer down a path that ultimately leads to a sale in the offline world, such as at your office or over the phone. By importing offline conversions, you can measure what happens in the offline world after a click on one of your ads.

I think we all agree. Let’s do this. Here’s how:

Step #1 – Enable Auto Tagging

Go to Google AdWords → My Account → Preferences and turn on Auto Tagging. This will allow Google to add a suffix parameter with the GCLID to each URL. auto-tagging

Step #2 – Capture The GCLID

Whenever someone clicks on your ad and comes to your website, you will need to grab the GCLID from the URL parameter and store it in the session or cookie. Sample JavaScript code to store the GCLID in a cookie called ‘gclid’:


Step #3 – Store GCLID With Lead Data

When they submit a contact form, you will want to store the GCLID in your database alongside the rest of the customers information.

Here’s an example form with a hidden field for collecting the GCLID. You should insert the highlighted <input> tag in between your <form> tags.:

<form action="" name="myForm"> 		
         Name: <input type="text" name="name"> 		
         <input type="hidden" id="gclid" name="gclid" value=""> 	 	
         <input type="submit" value="Submit Form" name="btnSubmit"> 	

Here’s example JavaScript code you can use to retrieve the GCLID value from the cookie and update the value of the hidden form element.

  function readCookie(name) { 
  var n = name + "="; 
  var cookie = document.cookie.split(';'); 
  for(var i=0;i < cookie.length;i++) {      
      var c = cookie[i];      
      while (c.charAt(0)==' '){c = c.substring(1,c.length);}      
      if (c.indexOf(n) == 0){return 
  return null; 

  window.onload = function() {      
      document.getElementById('gclid').value = 

Step #4 – Offline Conversions

Go to Google AdWords → Tools and Analysis → Conversions and click ‘+Conversion’ and add a new conversion. When adding the new conversion, select ‘Import’ as the source.

Conversion Tracking

Step #5 – Import Conversions

Now that you set up a Conversion in AdWords, you’ll want to go back to Tools and Analysis → Conversions. Now click on ‘Upload’ and you will get the upload page.

Conversion Tracking

Before uploading, make sure you format the data according to the template files provided by Google. Here is a sample of how the data should look:


Header Notes: Make sure to edit the time zone in the header. I entered -5000 for New York in my sample. Column Notes:

  • Action – should always say the word ‘add’
  • Google Click Id – should have the GCLID associated with that conversion
  • Conversion Name – should match the exact value from step #3
  • Conversion Value – dollar amount, no commas or currency symbols
  • Conversion Time – date and time of the transaction

You should be all set.

Let us know how it works for you in the comments.

Bing Ads Launches New Sidebar For Easier Navigation

Looks like Microsoft added a new sidebar in Bing Ads. It works much like the navigation sidebar in Bing Ads Editor or Google AdWords. It makes it that much simpler to switch campaigns.

Previously, if you were working on multiple campaigns you had to go back to campaigns tab and then select another campaign. Or if you knew about it you can hover over the word ‘campaign’ in the breadcrumb navigation and it would drop down a list of all campaigns. But, I think most people didn’t even realize that option was available.

See below for a blurred out screenshot of the new navigation sidebar from Bing Ads.

Bing Ads Sidebar

Import Offline Sales Conversion Into Google AdWords

Google has been adding a lot of new features to AdWords recently. This past Thursday they announced the ability to import conversions that happened offline. So if your business gets a lot of phone sales, this is for you.


From the announcement:

How you might use the conversion import feature

Let’s see how importing conversions can help a small business measure and optimize for the entire customer journey, from online leads to offline sales.

Isabelle designs, builds and sells high-end custom furniture. She uses AdWords to drive prospective customers to her website, where they can submit their contact information and request a sales call. AdWords Conversion Tracking can measure these raw lead submissions, but since most of them won’t result in a sale, she optimizes her campaigns on raw submitted leads; not actual sales.

Now that she’s able to import her offline conversion data (including sale value), Isabelle can better understand which keywords drive the most profitable sales. With a more accurate ROI picture, Isabelle can better manage her bids and budget.

Read More→

Bing Shopping Launches Product Ads, Rich Captions & More

Bing announced some changes to Bing Shopping last week. First of all, they are now calling it Bing Product Search.

Integrated Results

One of the main changes is that you no longer need to click on the “Shopping” tab. Bing will automatically show product lists based on the intent of the search query. So if they think you are looking for a product, they will push out the info for you.

Product Snapshots

They are also bringing Snapshot technology to expose more of the details you need for a specific product, like specs and reviews, to make a decision without having to click to another page.


Rich Captions

Rich Captions is a new free service which gives you an opportunity to provide information about your products directly on the Bing search result pages. Your product’s price and availability may be displayed below the search algorithmic results linking to your product’s page. This new experience will begin to roll out in the next month. To participate, you will need to submit your product catalog via a feed. If you are a Product Ads beta customer, this feed is the same as your Product Ads feed or you can create a new one.


Product Ads

Like Google AdWords Product Listing Ads, Bing Product Ads will allow you to promote products directly on the search results page. The ads are delivered on both Bing and Yahoo! search result pages and will allow advertisers to include product details such as image, price and description within their ads, delivering key information about the product offers that will help users make informed decisions before clicking on the ads (which improves the conversions). This program is currently in Beta, so keep your eyes open for your invitation to join the program.


View Paid & Organic Search Query Reports Directly In Google AdWords

Google released a new report where you can see you paid and organic search data directly within AdWords. This report will give you a high level overview of Clicks, Queries and your CTR.


Today, we’re announcing the addition of the paid & organic report in AdWords, a new report to help you analyze and optimize your search footprint on Google. Previously, most search reports showed paid and organic performance separately, without any insights on user behavior when they overlap. The new paid & organic report is the first to let you see and compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page.

Here are some ways you can use the paid & organic report to measure and optimize your search performance:

  • Discover additional keywords. Use the report to discover potential keywords to add to your AdWords accounts by looking for queries where you only appear in organic search with no associated ads.
  • Optimize presence on high value queries. Use the report to improve your presence in paid results and monitor your high value queries for organic results.
  • Measure changes holistically. As you test website improvements or AdWords changes to bids, budgets, or keywords, you can more easily report the impact across paid, organic, and combined traffic.

Read the full post here.

Plot Charts By Day, Week, Month & Quarter In Google AdWords

Search Engine Roundtable reports that Google AdWords now has the ability to plot your charts by day/week/month/quarter. This is something that always felt like it was missing because I always use this in Google Analytics.

Plot your chart data in AdWords by day, week, month, or quarter

How many times have you wished you could get a quick snapshot of how your search traffic is trending, and in the time increments that matter to you? You might want to see weekly trends if you refresh your inventory on a weekly basis, or if you have quarterly sales goals you might want to track your performance trends by quarter. Today, we’re making it easier and faster to get a customized view of how your performance is trending with a new button right above your chart in AdWords that lets you toggle between Daily, Weekly, Monthly, or Quarterly data (shown below). We hope this will save you time and make you more efficient while optimizing your search campaigns.


Image Credit: SERoundtable

Did you ever notice this feature wasn’t there?

Google Releases AdWords Editor 10.2 Featuring Upgraded Sitelink Support

Update: Google just posted about the new Editor on the AdWords blog.

Google tweeted that a new version of AdWords Editor is now available for download. However, it doesn’t seem to be available from the AdWords Editor page yet. It is available through the help section though.

A full list of the changes can be found here:

  • View upgraded sitelinks on the new Extensions > Sitelinks (upgraded) tab.
  • Add, edit, or remove upgraded sitelinks at the campaign or ad group level.
  • Copy and paste upgraded sitelinks between campaigns or ad groups.
  • Include upgraded sitelinks in imports and exports.
  • Change a sitelink’s platform targeting (all devices, desktop and tablet devices only, or mobile devices only), or the device preference for an individual sitelink (all or mobile).
  • Schedule start and end dates for your sitelink to run, or set it to run specific days of the week and times of day.
  • Disable upgraded sitelinks at the ad group level.