New Google SERP Layout & Product Listing Ad Format?

Today, while surfing through Google SERPs, Vertical Railien Aaron B. stumbled upon a new search engine results page layout – the sign of a Google experiment perhaps?

Changes to Product Listing Ad Formats

We’ve seen this new SERP layout for location specific keywords since last year and now, it looks like Google is rolling it out to Product Listing Ads.

Google's New SERP Layout

The curious new Google Product Listing Ad layout lists 14 products right under the search box and has done away with the “Shop for X on Google” text link – replacing it with a bold, black banner to the left of the PLAs.

These PLAs are also responsive; if you’re one of the lucky ones that get to experience this new format, you’ll notice that the query in the search box changes with every item that you click through – morphing into a keyword phrase that matches the product.

You’ll also see that when you click on an item, a “Sponsored” box pops up next to organic search results and displays merchants, prices, and a direct link to the merchant website.

Effects on Organic Search Results & AdWords Ads

New Google SERP Product Ad

This new Google PLA layout completely changes the look of SERPs. For one, it takes real estate away from organic search results and puts more paid listings at the top of the page.

Then, when a PLA is clicked, a product box pops up on the right side of the page, pushing AdWords text ads below the fold.

Which leads the Vertical Rail team to speculate…

What Could These Changes Mean for Ecommerce?

The changes to Google SERPs and PLA listings leaves us wondering a couple things:

  • Will Google prioritize PLAs over AdWords?
  • Will PLAs get more competitive over time if the new SERP layout proves to be effective?
  • How will these changes impact ecommerce SEO efforts?

How do you think the experimental SERP layout will affect organic search and AdWords?

Have you spotted this new format while browsing Google? (We’ve only gotten it to show for the query, “soft serve ice cream machines” – try it yourself and see what you get!)

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