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Google Shopping Ads Are Now on GDN

Google is launching a new way to advertise on the Google Display Network (GDN). Ads and campaigns devoted to shopping are now on the GDN as part of a recently launched pilot project dubbed “Retail Shopping on Display.”

Originally, retail ads and shopping campaigns only appeared on Google search results. Shopping-focused advertising could only be seen when a Google user performed a product-related search. With the new pilot project, image-rich retail ads will now appear on website banners of websites part of the GDN. According to Google, the GDN is comprised of two million sites that reach more than 90% of users on the web.

The Retail Shopping on Display Pilot Project

Google announced the Retail Shopping on Display last month in an email sent directly to AdWords users and marketers. The email, as cited by Search Engine Land, says that AdWords users that are a part of the pilot project will be able to, “expand the reach of their Shopping Campaigns beyond the Google Search Network.” Adding more insight into the pilot project, Google explained that shopping ads will, “appear on a handful of select, premium fashion and home decor sites for this pilot.”

Specific details on which GDN fashion and home decor sites selected for the pilot project haven’t been released. Still, the nature of the sites included in the pilot project does point toward the type of advertisers included in the test-run of Retail Shopping on Display. Companies and marketers with products who can naturally fit into fashion or decor sites were likely sent an email about the pilot ahead of others. So don’t stress if you’re an AdWords advertiser who has yet to hear about the pilot project.

Details On The Display Shopping Ads

May 29th is the date the Retail Shopping on Display pilot project will automatically go into effect. Accounts included in the pilot project will have shopping ads inserted into the GDN by default. Google was certain to mention that advertisers can opt out of the pilot project if they wish. Google also noted that a visible uptick in traffic probably won’t be apparent until late June.

Enabling shopping ads on the GDN appears to be a relatively simple process. Just click on the “Google Display Network” box (which will be right underneath the “Google Search Network” box for accounts part of the pilot) and you should be set. For a better visual, check out the screenshot captured by Joel Wollner of UpClicks Media below.


Shopping ads and the Google Display Network sound like a match made in heaven. Buying clothing, apparel, or houseware is a very visual experience. You need to see something with your own eyes before you want to buy, after all.  If you’re on a blog post looking for home decor ideas, and you see a display ad for a beautifully designed living room set, you’re far more likely to interact with the ad. Advertisers using ATD for display already make use of this intelligent pairing of ads and websites.

Right now, that’s all the details we have. Google hasn’t given a date on when the pilot project will end or if different types of GDN websites will be included in the future. As always, we’ll have the latest info as it comes!

Image Credits

Featured Image: Unsplash/Nathan Fertig customized by Acquisio’s Design Team

Image 1: Thank you to Uptick for permission to use their image in this post!

Cassy Trussell

Cassy Trussell

Cassy is Acquisio's Content Specialist and resident Community Manager. With degrees in both Communication Studies and Graphic Design, coupled with agency and freelance design and copywriting experience, she has an ideal trifecta of skills to back up the entire marketing team. A passionate foodie, she can tell you all the best dishes in the city. When she's not writing, designing, or engaging with Acquisio's community, she spends time with her dog Derp, a local Instagram star.

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