Google Shopping (PLA) vs AdWords: The Top Ten Players

AdWords and Shopping (based on Product Listing Ads) are Google’s most valuable ad types. It’s time that we look at which companies and websites dominate the respective ad arenas in Google’s search result pages.

This study is an evaluation based on the Top 10 players within each ad space and a comparison of the two ad formats.

AdWords and Shopping – Differences in CTR & Pricing

Primarily text-based, AdWords is Google’s largest source of revenue. These ads are placed above, under, and to the side of organic search results. In comparison to Google Shopping, AdWords is cheaper, but it also has a lower CTR.

Product Listing Ads, better known as Google Shopping, are image-based ads displayed in results for product searches. They include the product name, price, product photos, and a link to the reseller in question. This type of ad started to gain popularity in early 2013.

AdWords and PLAs - Keyword Share 2014


The Spread of AdWords & Shopping Ads

Since its launch, PLAs (Google Shopping) have grown rapidly. The share of search engine results displaying PLAs has more than doubled in the course of 2014, from 7.5% to 16%.

Contrastingly, the numbers for AdWords have stayed relatively constant: at the end of 2014, 63% of all search results included at least one AdWords ad.

The 10 Most Important Players in AdWords & Shopping

Searchmetrics determined the domains that had the highest visibility in SERPs among the two ad groups.

  2. and

were ranked the top three websites in AdWords in the 2014 annual analysis.

  1. and

had the highest visibility in Product Listing Ads in the USA for 2014.

Download the study here to get the full lists: