Introduced in November, product listing ads have not yet replaced traditional text ads, but one day might: Instead of an ad promising “Cheap nike shoes at BuyMeShoes.con”, Google will show a picture of the shoe, with a price tag and shop name. On one hand, those pictures will incease the click through rate for the ad (if this policy is any indication). On the other, the matching is done entirely based on the product listing, eliminating the need for ads. Oh, and did I mention that the advertiser only has to pay if a surfer actually buys something?
Well, sounds great.
If not for a few little things. One, for those ads to show, you have to import your entire invertory to the Google merchant account. Then, because Google doesn’t want to cheat you with sales, of course the conversion tracking will be done by them too, meaning they will learn your conversion rates. Also, so far there have been (fee-free) product listings in the organic search results, will those be moved to the pay section?
But then, Google did already stop its foray into pay-per-action, with this option no longer been offered for AdSense. Perhaps the fraud incentive was too high for merchants?