You may have heard the buzz surrounding Google’s latest ad extension for PLAs -- “PLA Product Ratings.” These resemble the seller ratings that you see on text ads.
The biggest difference between text and product ad extensions is these new ratings are actual product ratings instead of a website's aggregate ratings. They come from a variety of sources--not just your retail website--to make an aggregate rating using the product’s UPC or other universal identifier. When a shopper clicks on the number next to the ratings, they will see reviews that are aggregated from different places on the screen.
Google has eliminated any concern over negative feedback by eliminating any reviews that talk specifically about a retailer. Likewise, they will not display reviews for any products that have a rating that is lower than three stars.
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding PLA Product Review Extensions:
1. Will product review extensions replace other PLA extensions/annotations?
PLA ads can only show one extension and there is a hierarchy as to which extension will show. The hierarchy is as follows: local pla annotation > product review extensions > merchant promotions.
2. How do I opt into these extensions?
Until recently, Google has automatically shown these ratings for all eligible products across all retailers. Around Mid-August, Google will only show ratings for retailers who submit their review data to them. If you’re a retailer who would like to opt in, contact your review technology provider (Bazaarvoice, Power Reviews, etc) and ask them to send in their products review data to Google in order to stay eligible for ratings to display.
3. What is the performance lift of having these extensions?
In their preliminary testing, Google has seen an “increase in CTR” for the ads that run the extensions. We know that CTR for PLAs is not solely dependent on having product reviews.
At Adlucent, we’re working to collect aggregate date for our clients to determine the true benefit.
4. How will this affect other items on the search page?
Given that the number of stars is definitely drawing more attention to PLAs, there may be an increase in the number of PLA clicks. However, this could also lead to a decrease in organic and paid text ad traffic so this is something that you should keep an eye out for.
Do you have any further questions on PLA Product Review Extensions? What kind of results have you seen? Let us know!