I say “Bah Humbug” to Google’s Product Listing Ads. Ebenezer Scrooge has taken many forms from Donald Duck to Bill Murray, the latest incarnation is Google’s Product Listing Ads that appear on search engine results pages. These are ads that businesses purchase through AdWords for retail online purchases. They feature a product image and are geared to products and product categories
Please see the example below:
Why do Product Listing Ads ruin the holiday spirit for home improvement companies? Let me explain.
Consumers and homeowners like to click on shopping ads. Thus, to promote these Product Listing Ads, Google started to award more valuable ad space on their search engine results pages to Product Listing Ads. Google loves these Product Listing Ads because they have been immensely profitable for the company – even in the home improvement space.
That’s all well and good for Google, but what about for home improvement businesses? By shifting the ad space to Product Listing Ads, Google displaced ads that traditionally went to remodelers and contractors who are selling installation services alongside their products. That’s reason number one that I hate Product Listing Ads…Google is sending homeowners directly to retailers rather than to remodelers…not great for the home improvement business.
Next, these ads provide “False Price Conditioning” to the homeowner. When you do common searches for many popular installed home improvement products, you – and your prospective homeowners – see pricing on products that is at best deceptive, and at worst fraudulent.
For example, if a homeowner searches for “windows,” Google tends to show the cheapest windows in their Product Listing Ads.
In this particular search, you can see that a moderately priced window appears to be $135-$144! And if you want to go real cheap, you can look at a price of $47! It’s absurd. Sure, you can buy bad windows cheaply. But they don’t install themselves, and as for quality…well, you know better than I.
But the point is that these prices provide a false sense of what a new window or a window replacement job may cost, which is problematic for businesses like our clients’. Not only is it bad for a contractor, but it also completely misleads the homeowner on what it will actually cost to do a window job right.
I have raised this to Google directly, but so far it has fallen on deaf ears. Unfortunately, it’s out of my hands and in the hands of Google’s algorithms. I will keep bringing this up as an issue to Google, but this is why I hate Product Listing Ads.