Google AdWords retires PLA’s for AdWords Shopping Campaigns

get your Shopping

Google AdWords first initiated Shopping Campaigns with a small beta group in late 2013, and in February of 2014, introduced it to all advertisers. In March, Google presented the AdWords API, which enables users to manage all campaigns. Then in April, Google AdWords revealed that over the summer, straight Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns would be eliminated and replaced with Shopping Campaigns. Shopping Campaigns are a way more efficient way to administer PLAs, and offer more features than regular PLA campaigns alone.

Google AdWords

According to an article at the time, by Jessica Lee, for, in the announcement, Google stated, “We’ll be retiring the regular PLA campaign type and askingGoogle AdWords old logo above shopping campaigns all PLA advertisers to upgrade to Shopping Campaigns by late August 2014, at which time all remaining PLA campaigns will be automatically upgraded.”

In her article, Jessica goes on to explain extremely well, how it will work, including important factors that Google AdWords outlined, such as the new aspects that Shopping Campaigns will provide. One of the most exciting new elements is a “Bid Simulator” tool – which Google states “will provide more actionable insight into your PLAs, so that you can estimate how bid changes could impact your impressions, clicks or costs.”


Other key elements include the following –

  • Advanced performance measurement, with data segmentation by product or attribute
  • Aggregate competitive performance data, including the average CTRs and Max CPCs of your competitors
  • Create and edit with the AdWords API and bulk edit product groups at scale
  • Custom labels, a way to tag products in your data feed with personalized attributes
  • The ability to browse inventory within the AdWords platform and create product groups using attributes from your data feed

Google AdWords offers a comprehensive description in its help files of the differences between regular PLA Campaigns and Shopping Campaigns, which thoroughly explains what will change, and what will stay the same, and how the Shopping Campaigns will work in a more efficient, and better organised manner.

Essentially, the main thing to remember is that you aren’t really going to lose your PlA’s, you will however, just be able to use them more productivly, in a more beneficial way.


Product Listing Ads are still Product Listing Ads: The way you manage your campaigns may have changed, but as far as the people out there searching for your products or services are concerned, your Product Listing Ads are just as relevant andnew post.jpg2 informative as before. The ads appear in the same places, on the same networks. It’s in the managing, monitoring, and optimizing of your campaigns where you’ll see what we improved.

Shopping campaigns display Product Listing Ads in their own box on Google Search (separate from text ads), on Google search partner websites, and on Google Shopping (in select countries). Product Listing Ads include rich product information like an image, title, price, and your store or business name. You’ll need to link your Google Merchant Center account to your AdWords account in order to use Shopping campaigns.” – Google

Google even offers a video tutorial which will help you to more easily understand the new Shopping Campaigns, so that you can begin implementing them into your AdWords marketing strategy.

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