Jeff Pickle

Google Adword’s Rise of the Image and the Fall of the Word

Est. Reading Time: 1 minute

In November 2009, Google announced Product Listing Ads (PLAs).  Adwords

Since then, PLA’s are dominating the ecommerce related searches. So much so that it is becoming obvious that PLAs are taking the lion share of qualified clicks and some advertisers are shifting to PLAs exclusively.

Text ads just can’t compete.

It is easier to ‘show’ than ‘tell’.

To even the playing field, forthcoming image extensions for AdWords are likely to become a game changer in the world of pay-per-click.

Driven by the success of PLAs, Google will make image extensions soon only available for the top ad spots.

If you are an ecommerce site, you will definitely want to include a product image. Text will provide the additional information to encourage the click.

But the text will not be the “eye trap” anymore. Visual interest will need to be spiked and having image extensions is the only option along with utilizing PLAs.


A lot can be learned from existing PLA campaigns.

Our team at Beacon has setup several PLA campaigns and we can attest to their success over rival text ads. Currently only in beta, Beacon Technologies has applied to take part in this seismic shift in pay-per-click advertising.