Product Listing Ads vs Product Extensions (Part 1 of 2)

By Ariele McWhinney | Aug 10, 2012
More Articles by Ariele


Both product listing ads and product extensions can increase your search results reach. But what are the differences, the benefits, and how do you set them up?

Product Extensions

What are they?

Product extensions, like sitelink extensions, social extensions or other ad extensions, are extra information appended on to your paid ads. They are a product image or link containing the product name and price.

How do they work?

Your Google Merchant Center must be connected to your AdWords account. If your ad appears and any products in your Google Merchant Center are relevant to the search query triggering your ad, a product extension will appear.

What are the benefits?

Product extensions increase visibility and SERP domination of your ad by creating up to an extra three lines below your ad text.

Product Listing Ads

What are they?

Product Listing Ads are shopping search result ads that include a product image, price, merchant name, and more. They are different from product extensions insomuch that additional ads and keywords are not needed to trigger the product listing ads to show.

How do they work?

You may set up a campaign directly through Google Merchant Center or via AdWords. I prefer AdWords so I can manage all my clients’ campaigns in one place. In this case, you once again need to link your Merchant Center and AdWords accounts. Once the product listing ads campaign is set up, whenever a search query performed is relevant to a product in your Merchant Center, Google will display the product information in the shopping portion of the search results page.

What are the benefits?

Product listing ads create a different, more engaging ad for users by allowing you to promote your product on Google Shopping in search results.

Below is an example of the two.

product listing ads vs product extensions

Have you had success incorporating product extensions or listing ads into your paid strategy? Post below or Tweet me @ArieleMcWhinney.

In part two of this post, I will walk through how to set up product extensions and listing ads  in AdWords, stay tuned!

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