Google Product Extension Ads For Fun & Profit

Google’s Product Extension ads are perfect for eCommerce advertisers. They give your audience a direct idea of the products and goods you offer and help searchers buy what they want faster. Plus, they look snazzy; nothing compliments well-written ads like images and prices of the product in question.

All those benefits come with a fair amount of implementation, but the process is easier than it sounds. Let’s take a look at how to set up these ads.

  1. Sign in to or set up a new Google Merchant Center account.
  2. Once you’re in, set up a product feed. Google provides a handy Products Feed Guide for starting your first product feed.
  3. One thing to consider while setting up your product feed is tracking. Google Analytics – everyone’s favorite free tracking tool – attributes visits from GMC links as standard Google Organic traffic. To separate these out, Google recommends adding a tracking tag to specify the traffic source. Something like “utm_medium=product+search” should do the trick.
  4. Uploading the completed feed can take a while, depending the size of your store. Don’t forget to make sure your products are displaying in Google Product Search!
  5. Once you’ve completed your feed and uploaded it to Google, link your AdWords ID to your GMC account. You can find additional info at this Merchant Center Help post.

In AdWords, you’ll turn on Product Extension ads for each individual campaign. You can find the Product Extension options under the Settings tab for the campaign.

So now that you’re linked up and turned on, everything should be gravy, right? Well, kinda.

See, Google determines when to display the Product Extensions “automatically,” which is another way to say, “We’re not telling!” However, you can make a slight tweak to your feed to help the system determine if your ads are relevant.

Google provides a handy matrix of optional attributes for your product feed that help match your products to search queries. The one we’re looking for is, “adwords_prefer_for_query” which lets you match up specific products with specific terms. Adding this column to your product feed will let Google know what products you consider the most relevant for specific terms. Note that this works best with exact-match terms – if you include “shoes” in your feed, your extended ad won’t display for “running shoes.”

As of this post, Google doesn’t provide integrated conversion tracking for Product Extension ads, but they give you just about every other metric.

There’s plenty of data available to determine how your audience are using the ads and Google has been adding additional reporting metrics.

What have your experiences been with Product Extension ads? Let us know in the comments!

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  • Lisa Sanner

    Pdt extensions have worked for one of my clients. It is very useful when you are getting some traffic on general keywords that you have multiple offers that relate to that keyword, i.e. if you have different versions of a product. You are just getting that user one step closer to what they want. Good for them and good for you. Also, having the plusbox has increased the CTR on our ads, even if the user don’t expand the plusbox. I think it’s a credibility indicator and makes you look like you have robust inventory.

    February 4, 2010 at 11:27 am
  • Its looks worthwhile extensions for the retailers as they need these extensions for the timely / seasonal tangible products promotional for there websites.

    I am still not triggering the products extensions ads although products some optional attributes into the froogle feed.

    April 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm
  • Danielle

    This looks promising, but I can’t get any search to trigger these results. I’d like to see Product Extensions in action.

    September 23, 2010 at 3:25 pm

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