Breaking News: Amazon Stops Advertising on Google PLAs

Throughout the past year, Amazon has drastically increased their paid media investment across Google Shopping, driving up CPCs and controlling impression share across the SERP – until this past week.

amazon leaves google plas

You read that right –  Amazon is no longer competing for ad space on Google’s SERP.

According to reports, Amazon has been toying with the idea of pulling their PLAs for quite some time. It appears last week is when they decided to officially “pull the plug” on all Shopping ad efforts.

Amazon Stops Advertising on Google PLAs:

Now that Amazon is no longer testing PLAs, a couple questions come to mind:

  1. How will the discontinuation of Amazon PLAs impact existing Google Shopping advertisers?
  2. Why is Amazon no longer serving ads on the Google SERP?
  3. Is this the final end to Amazon on the SERP?

 

Q. How will the discontinuation of Amazon PLAs impact existing Google Shopping advertisers?

Bad News for Brands Selling on Amazon

As seen in the client data below (retrieved from our advertising team), there’s a pretty significant dip in Amazon sales as a reflection of the departure from Google PLAs around April 28th, 2018:

Client Example 1:

Client Example 2:

Good News for Google Shopping Advertisers

In contrast, the departure of Amazon from the SERP looks to be a positive shift for retailers advertising in the Google Shopping space.

As seen in the client example below, some advertisers directly competing with Amazon on the SERP are no longer seeing Amazon impression shares at all after April 28th.

Pre 4/28:

Post 4/28:

 

Here’s another example sent over from one of our account managers – showing absolutely no signs of Amazon on the SERP this week:

Pre 4/28:

Post 4/28:

“Although we do not yet know the full impact of the decision to stop advertising on Google PLAs, there are existing areas of Amazon that brands should be working to maximize,” Jeff Banks, Marketplace Channel Analyst at CPC Strategy said.

jeff-banks

Amazon’s average YoY growth rate of the last 10 years is about 28%, and while this decision may affect that growth rate, there will still be high growth opportunity for sellers. Utilizing Amazon’s on-site ad programs and continuing brand-building efforts on and off Amazon remains important as the Marketplace continues to change.”

Why is Amazon no longer serving ads on the Google SERP?

Although we can’t confirm exactly why Amazon has decided to pull all ads in the SERP, we do know this isn’t the first time Amazon has jumped in and out of the Google advertising space.

2012: Amazon pulls their listings from Google Shopping.
According to the New York Times, the reasoning behind this decision was because Amazon views Google as a threat to being a one-stop destination for shopping online, a position that Amazon has been king of for quite some time now. By removing their listings from Google, it limited the consumer choices who will have to go to Amazon instead.

 

2015: Amazon pulls their listings from Google Shopping, again.

According to Business Insider, the reasoning behind the second withdraw was due to data concerns:

“Ad sellers like Google were able to use the ads to get information about Amazon’s users, which enabled them to hone up ad targeting on their own platforms. Amazon is now plugging that hole, which was allowing hundreds of companies to essentially steal chunks of its online advertising share by using its own data (for a price.)”

Q. Is this the final end to Amazon on the SERP?

Although unclear why Amazon has decided to change course, our PPC experts will be available for a live open forum Q&A (Friday, May 4 at 11:30am), to explain their thoughts & predictions, and what this means for ecommerce companies today.

Join CPC Strategy for an Open Q&A Forum:

  • Why did Amazon decide to pull back from Google PLAs?
  • How will this affect Google advertisers today?
  • Is this temporary or long-term for Amazon?
  • Which category’s were most impacted by Amazon’s presence?
  • What this means for Amazon Sellers & Vendors?

What do you think of Amazon’s departure from the SERP? Email tara@cpcstrategy or comment below.

About the AuthorTara graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Journalism / Business. Her passion for creative publishing and quality reporting landed her work opportunities at several companies in Massachusetts, New York and California. She is a leading voice behind CPC Strategy’s Blog. See all posts by this author here.