Google Image Search and Shopping via PLA Feed

New Era in Google PLA: Shopping directly on Google Images

This blog will highlight on how to capitalize on the new opportunities of Google Image Search by focusing on 5 most important elements of the PLA feed with Image Search in mind.

Google Image Search and Shopping via PLA Feed: What digital marketers need to know?


Feed based marketing on Image Search

Feed based marketing is not new to digital marketer anymore, however, a new era began recently as Google just ventured to capitalize the image search which has been pretty much organic so far. Now, Google has allowed consumers to search within Google Images and directly (right there and then) allowed consumers to see the price on results, as well as ability to filter by various characteristics / attributes to start eCommerce journey. As merchants, their pre-existing feed is used to pull the image file into the image search results which clicked-upon drives the consumers to the destination URL from the feed.

First, let’s start with a review of recent PLA timeline:

  • 2012: Feed based marketing started.
  • Early 2013Google PLAs (Product Listing Ads) went mainstream from free test program.
  • By 2014, data was showing that PLAs were going to challenge traditional AdWords.
  • By 2015/early 2016, PLAs were already taking lion’s share of real-estate, impression, as well as ad-spend.
  • May 2016, a new era has started – Google has started to capitalize on Google Images by bringing eCommerce directly to the Images.

How Image Search PLA works?

I just went to Google Images and searched for “laptops”. The image search result view now offers:

  •  Ability to view by Brand – Apple / Samsung / Dell etc
  • Ability to pick by Attributes – color, in this case
  • Choice by device type such as Tablet, Mini, Compact or Mac
  • View prices of all products
  • Ability to look at the lowest price
  • Mouse over ability to view details – as shown below on Dell example
  • Click on any of these and be able to view the destination url of the ad powered by PLA feed
  • Note: All of this is happening without going to at all – everything is happening from within Google Images.
  • This works just fine on Mobile!


5 Most Important Elements due to Image Search PLA

To start with, digital marketing has just entered an new era and never before in the history of internet marketing, quality and clarity of images has been this critical. Let’s review 5  important elements for merchants with Google PLA feed running:

  1. Presentation of Image: Depending upon the type of search query, what would display on the image is now CRITICAL. So think as a consumer on what they would want to see when they are searching for any product.
  2. Quality/Clarity of Image: Highest possible resolution images are now a MINIMUM REQUIREMENT.
  3. Price: This is the deciding factor to get a click – More than likely if you have a lowest (or one of the lowest) prices, you’ll get traffic. This does not guarantee the sale, however, getting the click here alone is a 50% of battle.
  4. Product Name and Description: All of a sudden, product name makes or breaks as it’s that descriptive element of the ad.
  5. Shipping: Free shipping is now standard in most cases. In above search ALL results had FREE SHIPPING. Consumers now expect this by default.
  6. This is bonus if retailers can take advantage of Local Inventory Ads (LIAs), as this now offers “store pickup” option. This is a clear benefit for brick-and-mortar over online stores.


Image Search based PLA is #NewOpportunityInGoogle and it’s high time to optimize your images while paying attention to above 5 most important aspect of image search feed based marketing. Once you’ve high quality images displaying products in an innovative way with a descriptive product name, merchant’s changes of getting a visit increases significantly which if followed by a great price and a free shipping bring you very close to the conversion. This is certainly a new opportunity in digital marketing with image search within Google.

About Ujjwal Bhattarai

Ujjwal is an engineer by education, a programmer by hobby, and an internet marketer by choice. Other than 1 minute chess, and biking, his passion includes SEO, SEM/PPC, CRO, and Web Development. As a lifelong student of Internet Development, he is hopelessly addicted to Internet, and sincerely believes after fire, wheel, and decimal point, internet is the fourth most important invention in the human history. Catch up with him on Twitter at @uj2wal or at his Google+ .

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