As of early September 2014, Google launched a limited beta program with select ecommerce sites that displays the new PLA (Product Listing Advertisement) ad spot in AdSense. A direct quote from Google’s product page says that publishers will:

  • “Monetize all site traffic, including mobile: mobile is where users compare products. Since AdSense for Shopping is designed for all devices, retailers and commerce publishers can easily monetize their non-converting mobile traffic.
  • Expand their product offerings: with more than one billion products available on Google Shopping, you can help users find what they want and keep them coming back to your site.
  • Enhance the user experience: show rich product ads that are contextually relevant to the users visiting your site”

The premise of PLA’s in traditional AdSense placements provides a similar experience to what Amazon has been displaying for some time. They serve up a comparison shopping experience from alternate retailers in a highly relevant shopping context.

In partnering with Google, ecommerce retailers will be allowing Google campaigns to display PLA’s that directly relate to a search that has been performed on the partner site. For example, if you search for a Weber BBQ on Walmart.com, the site will return relevant BBQs from the Walmart inventory, and Google will display relevant BBQs from active AdSense campaigns. They benefit the shopper by providing alternate choices; and the retailer by delivering an additional source of revenue if the shopper’s intention is not to convert on their ecommerce site.

In essence, by participating in both PLA’s in Google search and PLA’s in AdSense, retailers now have double the potential to increase brand awareness and – most importantly – revenue.