Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs)—enhanced search ads that include features such as price and image—saw steep growth in Q4 2013. According to data released in January 2014 by The Search Agency, total spending on such ads rose 71% quarter over quarter and 164.8% year over year in the last quarter of 2013, pushing its overall portion of Google’s spend share to 0.28%.
PLAs also saw huge increases in impressions and clicks. The former grew 82.9% year over year and 63.4% quarter over quarter. Clicks in Q4 2013 nearly doubled compared with the same quarter in 2013 and rose 63.4% over Q3 2013. This growth drove Google’s PLA click share up to 0.24%.
Clickthrough rates (CTRs) and cost per click (CPC) were also up year over year, with CTRs reaching 2.00% in Q4 2013. However, CPC was down quarter over quarter, from $1.64 to $1.58, unable to rebound from a huge jump in Q3.
The most impressive growth was seen in mobile, which continued to grab click share from desktop. Smartphone clicks in Q4 2013 increased 1,589% over Q4 2012, and those on tablets rose 335.7%. Overall, mobile grew its click share nearly six times year over year, from 4.2% to 24.3%. A main driver of this growth was the release of mobile-optimized PLAs in October 2013.