Google seems to be testing Product Listing Ads in sizes other than the usual lines of 5 products at the top of the search results. Now, they are running PLA units with 3, 4 or 6 individual products instead of the usual 5. Normally if Google is has fewer than 5 products to display, it will show it on the right side instead, often as products stacked above each other.
These new sizes are quite noticeable and distinctive, which makes you wonder if the usual 5 product listings at the top of the search results were experiencing some “banner blindness” so Google decided to shake them up.
But it also seems that for some users, Google has dropped the regular 5 product PLA units. I can only see them when I am incognito, but not when I am logged in.
First, here are some examples with only three products in the PLA. With the added white space, these products really stand out.
They are also testing one with 4 products.
They are also testing a version with 6 products instead of 5.
None of the ones I saw had any added features, such as review stars or various tags to show if the pricing is reduced or on sale.
But what is most interesting is that Google seems to have dropped the PLAs at the top of the search results that have the usual 5 products. I could only see PLAs at the top with 3, 4 or 6 products, but none with 5. When I went incognito, I could finally see some 5 product PLAs, but they were also rare – I was mostly seeing 6 or 4 product units instead.
I personally like the new versions since they are different from what we usually see. When I finally got the 5 product PLA showing, you realize how “common” it looks, and it is much easier to skim past. Here is what the regular 5 product one looks like:
This seems to be a pretty widespread test, and this is one I wouldn’t be surprised if it was made permanent rather quickly. I suspect there will be an increase in CTR just from the the banner blindness aspect alone.
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