Google PLAs – End of the Free Lunch
I just finished reading an article on Google PLAs (product listing ads) from WebPro News. You may know that the free Google product listing ads are going away on October 1. Apparently, this is causing a lot of concern among internet marketers.
Google introduced the free version of Google shopping about 10 years ago, and many of us have used it to generate some additional income. I have used these ads in blog sidebar widgets in the past, but mostly dropped them for three reasons:
- They often showed products that competed with those I was promoting
- I received no income from them
- Sometimes WordPress mangled the ad and showed HTML snippets.
If you had more success, let me know how you did it. It may not help with Google shopping, but the ideas might be useful elsewhere!
About three years ago, Google introduced product ads. These are the paid version of Google shopping. Being reluctant to pay for anything when there is a free alternative, I did not try them.
For those who used both the free and the paid Google PLAs, the appearance of both on the same page could be confusing (according to Google). Consequently, Google decided to withdraw one of them. Not surprisingly, they chose to terminate the free service.
If you are relying on Google PLAs as part of your marketing strategy, there are some right things and some wrong things to be doing now. For me, the answer is simple: I plan to check through all my sites and remove the Google PLAs that still remain. If, however, you are using, or intend to use, the paid service, I recommend you read the article at WebPro News and act accordingly.
Either way, internet advertising needs to be a part of an overall strategy, not just entered into haphazardly. I confess to being one of the “haphazard” group, and intend to give more thought to whether I want to invest the time and money to use advertising correctly. I would appreciate some guidance if you have experience you can share – good or bad!