For the last year and a half, Amazon has been competing in Google Shopping auctions, bidding mostly for placement for home goods products, but also some other targeted product categories.
Andy Taylor of Markle, Inc, wrote on the company’s blog an extensive explanation of how it appears that Amazon stopped bidding on Google Product Listing Ads (PLA).
According to Taylor “Evaluating a set of advertisers across these product categories that have consistently seen Amazon competing in their Shopping auctions, Amazon’s vanished from Auction Insights reports on April 28th across all device types and haven’t reappeared since.”
Of course, Amazon makes no public statements on its marketing strategy. So we won’t ever know the exact reason why Taylor was able to sort out that Amazon no longer bids on PLAs.
It is possible this is a temporary halt to test the effectiveness of the campaigns. Or maybe Amazon no longer wants to support Google’s ad platform as it is making major inroads to become a digital marketing platform itself.
In the last earnings call after the 2018 Q1 report, Brian Olsavesky, SVP and CFO at Amazon stated:
“I would say advertising continues to be a bright spot both from a product standpoint and also financially. It continued to be a strong contributor to profitability in Q1. It’s now a multibillion-dollar program. You can see the – in our supplemental revenue disclosure, it’s in other revenue, and it’s the majority of the other revenue in that line item.”
Or did Amazon “participate” in Google’s program to learn more about how other sellers may be bidding against the eCommerce giant. In other words, they evaluate bidding data from Google’s program to make their program better?
Did Amazon Pull More Than Google PLA Advertising?
To add a little intrigue to the story, I have noticed recently that other sites I visit no longer show Amazon ads. These are all sites that use the Google AdSense network and have shown Amazon ads for many years.
Often, items I looked at on Amazon appeared on these sites and that applied well before Amazon was known to have used Google’s PLA advertising.
I spent a lot of time checking different sites after visiting different products on Amazon and at no time did any item ever show up in a Google ad. This is highly unusual.
Of course, this could be a demographic anomaly. But it appears very strange this is happening and ironically something I noticed about 2 weeks ago, about the same time Andy Taylor states Amazon stopped bidding on PLAs.
Considering there is no great love relationship between Amazon and Google, especially as both compete for the smart speaker market, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Amazon made a deliberate decision to no longer advertise with Google.
READ MORE: Google And Amazon Competition Heats Up
Good For eCommerce Marketers
If Amazon did pull the plug on Google PLAs or Google ads altogether, this means other sellers no longer have to compete against the eCommerce giant.
For some this may mean lower bidding prices as a deep pocket advertiser like Amazon evacuates the space.
Do you use Google PLAs or Google AdSense and how do you think if Amazon pulled the plug on Google advertising could it affect your business? Head over to our Facebook Discussion Group or use the comments section below to let us know.