Recently, Google announced an important change concerning PLAs (Product Listing Ads): as of May 2016 GTINs (Global Trade Item Numbers) that were previously required only for products from 50 brands, will become mandatory for all branded products advertised via a Shopping campaign.
Starting from the 8th February, Google started showing item-level warnings in the Merchant Center, flagging up the products without a GTIN to help advertisers identify the items which need to be updated. As of 16th May 2016 GTINs will officially become mandatory and Google will start disapproving products that lack a GTIN attribute and the corresponding ads will no longer show until they’ve been updated and resubmitted for approval. However, this will only apply to cases where a valid GTIN from the manufacturer exists, so custom goods merchants don’t have to worry about this new update.
Thus, advertisers and companies using Google Shopping campaigns need to ensure that their feeds are updated by May to include the correct GTIN information for all the products. PLAs have proved to be extremely efficient for retailers, as CPC (cost-per-click) can often be considerably lower and conversions rates higher compared to text ads or display ads, if the Shopping Feeds used are optimised and managed properly.
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