PLAs & the overlap between SEO & SEM — Jordan Koene // Searchmetrics

About the speaker

Jordan Koene


 - Searchmetrics

Show Notes

  • ? 01:49
    Whats new with Product Listing Ads today
    ? 03:32 -How does a PLA look and work


  • “There is a little bit of evolution that is taking place with Google. Back in April, they made an announcement that they would be offering free product listings within the Shopping Experience. Typically, it was limited to product listing ads which are only paid experience but they announced, kind of in connection with coronavirus that they would be offering free listings in that experience.” -Jordan

  • “It used to be a pay-to-play model only and ultimately, it is a great opportunity for folks that are in e-commerce because if you can optimize your listing feeds, ensure that they are really well-structured you can generate more exposure.” -Jordan

  • “Essentially you do your search as you start to navigate into the shopping tab. Thats where you typically have a lot of the listed or paid ads. However, in the All Tabs, you will also have a featured tab of the product listings. What Google announced in April is that they were going to include free placements within the shopping tab. But what they announced just a few days ago is that they are also going to include free listings or free placements within the Main Tab which is a remarkable and quite quick transition to allowing free listings and what is possibly going to be a strong money maker for Google.” -Jordan

  • “About a month before Google decided to make their shopping listings free, Amazon pulled all of their budgets out of Google AdSense. So my theory, nothing to back this up, and I haventtalked from anyone on both sides, Google is looking for ways to compete with Amazon.” -Ben

  • “I dont think this has anything to do with King Kong vs. Godzilla aka Amazon vs Google. I think this has a lot to do with where Google wants to go with diversification. Like how diverse does Google want the experience to be for users and is there a better experience if you are allowed to have free placements.” -Jordan

  • “I dont believe it for a second. I dont think that Google is all of a sudden just saying we are going to give away this revenue to get more product assortment because thats whats going to happen. When they are not charging for people to distribute their product listing ads, more people are going to do that, more brands are going to flood the search results with products. Now Google has more assortment and I think that Google is looking for mine share of nothing else. That when someone conducts their e-commerce search, they are going for Amazon first and that hurts Googles business. They want that traffic.” -Ben

  • “Google wants to make people feel that they are relevant when it comes to shopping. We also know for a fact that Google has spent tens of millions of dollars in promoting their shopping experience.” -Jordan

  • “Google is essentially trying to head off, not just Amazon but a trend that is taking place in e-commerce which is that over the last ten years, the evolution of the e-commerce experience for providers, not just the technology ones like Amazon but the retail one like Walmart, has reached a level of satisfaction to users that forces them to navigate directly to those websites.” -Jordan

  • “There are some big changes here, I think, for the small guy. The small guy being the smaller retailers or e-commerce shops especially in the COVID world who dont have a tremendous amount of sophistication around paid ads. Setting up PLAs is no trivial task.” -Jordan

  • “I really believe that there has to be a way for Google to enable education and the capabilities of those types of sellers so that they can take advantage of this benefit or this feature. Otherwise, you are not going to even be able to get traffic.” -Jordan

  • “It means that there is a lot more experimentation that needs to happen around listing ads and free experience. It means that we will probably see more changes from Google in terms of how they provide this experience, andhow they educate the advertisers around this experience.” -Jordan

  • “I do think that there is a dance there for marketers who are both managing SEM and SEO and its confusing. Right now theres a question of whether I should invest in optimizing my PLAs and getting my content into the hands of Google Shopping tab but now thats a way to get into the universal search or should I be focused on buying my way to the top page.” -Ben

  • “There is no easy answer but at the end of the day, my bias is always going to go to the websites doing an amazing job of getting the first placement will often see the benefit of that kind of content and technical SEO strategy impact.” -Jordan

  • “Generally, conversion rates for organic traffic are much higher than paid. On the flip side, if you are a brand that doesnt have a reputation and the likelihood of you ranking, it is going to be a long road. Theres going to be a lot of brands that have established SEO presence that lives on the top of that page, I am going to have to buy-in to get that visibility.” -Ben

  • “We often do see a heightened sense of change in Google during this time period. Usually, Google wants to make those e-commerce changes earlier in the year rather than later in the year because of the obvious reason. You start making major e-commerce policy and experience changes as you get into Q4 and you can really hurt marketers and retailers quite significantly because that is when they make all their money.” -Jordan

About the speaker

Jordan Koene


 - Searchmetrics

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