Study Reveals Most Visible Google Advertisers

googleadwordsAmazon dominates Google AdWords’ pay per click advertising, while eBay is the most visible on Google Shopping’s Product Listing Ads, new analysis has found.

Search engine optimization company Searchmetrics looked at results for millions of keywords searched in 2014 to create rankings for advertisers on the two Google ad formats. PPC ads are mostly text-based and appear at the top and sides of search engine results pages when users type specific keywords as part of their queries. PLAs are image-based, and appear with a product name, price and link when users make product-related searches.

For the new report, Searchmetrics gave each advertiser a PPC visibility score and PLA visibility score.

Amazon had a PPC visibility score of 9,381,597. The next-highest advertiser, Wow.com, had a score of only 6,577,132. Ask.com, WebCrawler.com and About.com rounded out the top five, with retailers such as Target, Zappos and Best Buy also making it into the top 10.

Auction site and online marketplace eBay topped the PLA list with a score of 7,591,817. Walmart followed not far behind at 6,198,399, but there was then a sharp drop off to Rakuten.com (2,289,424), Macy’s (1,486,746), and Etsy (1,267,870).

AdWords provides Google’s primary source of income — although most laypeople think of Google as a search engine, from a business standpoint it is an advertising company — and has been around for many years. So it’s not a major surprise to see higher overall scores there.

However, PLAs have been rapidly growing in popularity since becoming the default way to be listed on Google Shopping in 2013. A previous Searchmetrics study concluded that the number of PLAs grew by 118% last year alone.

The new research also compared the two formats of ads, and found that while PPC is the more affordable choice, PLAs have a higher click-through rate.

The full report is available for download online.

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