Discover v201008: Product ads and criteria

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

We’ve recently released additional product advertising options in Google AdWords, and have exposed features in AdWords API v201008 to enable you to leverage these new ad formats. Product extensions enhance your existing text ads with relevant production information, while product listing ads expose your entire product catalog with minimal setup and maintenance. You can read further about the differences between these ad formats here.

In this post we’ll discuss how product ads can be created using the API. Note: both features require that you first link your Google Merchant Center account to your AdWords account. This is done through the Google Merchant Center web interface using these instructions.

Product extensions

Like other extensions, product extensions are represented as CampaignAdExtensions using the type ProductExtension. The CampaignAdExtensionService can be used to retrieve or delete product extensions, but at this time they can only be created through the AdWords web interface. Once they have been created they will be automatically applied to all text ads in the campaign, and utilize existing keyword targeting.

Product listing ads

The API type ProductAd corresponds to a product listing ad, and can be manipulated using the AdGroupAdService. Unlike other ad types, a majority of the information displayed in the ad is not stored in the AdWords system but is pulled from the Google Merchant Center when the ad is served. For this reason the ad is very simple, introducing only an optional promotionLine field. Additionally, the fields url and displayUrl aren’t supported for product listing ads, as these values are populated based on the product that is being shown.

The Product criterion (known as a “product target” in the web interface) is what allows you to control which products are eligible to be shown with a product listing ad and what the bid should be for those products. This criterion contains conditional rules used to filter your product catalog, limited to the following product attributes: product_type, brand, adwords_grouping, condition, and adwords_labels. It’s worth noting that a single Product criterion usually corresponds to multiple different products in the catalog.

Let’s take the example of a merchant that wants to advertise their line of store-made premium chocolates for Valentine’s day. Using the PHP client library they would first add the product listing ad to the ad group, with a promotional message for the holiday.

// Create product listing ad.
$productAd = new ProductAd();
$productAd->promotionLine = 'Order some sweets for your sweet!';

// Create ad group ad.
$adGroupAd = new AdGroupAd();
$adGroupAd->adGroupId = $adGroupId;
$adGroupAd->ad = $productAd;

// Create operation.
$operation = new AdGroupAdOperation();
$operation->operand = $adGroupAd;
$operation->operator = 'ADD';
$operations = array($operation);

// Add ad.
$result = $adGroupAdService->mutate($operations);

They would then add a product criterion to the ad group, filtering for products that are chocolates in their premium brand.

// Create product conditions.
$productTypeCondition = new ProductCondition('Chocolate',
new ProductConditionOperand('product_type'));
$brandCondition = new ProductCondition('Acme Premium',
new ProductConditionOperand('brand'));

// Create product criterion.
$product = new Product();
$product->conditions = array($productTypeCondition, $brandCondition);

// Create biddable ad group criterion.
$adGroupCriterion = new BiddableAdGroupCriterion();
$adGroupCriterion->adGroupId = $adGroupId;
$adGroupCriterion->criterion = $product;

// Create operation.
$operation = new AdGroupCriterionOperation();
$operation->operand = $adGroupCriterion;
$operation->operator = 'ADD';
$operations = array($operation);

// Add ad group criteria.
$result = $adGroupCriterionService->mutate($operations);

Using only this single ad and criterion all of their premium chocolates are ready to be advertised.

Additional information on how you can set up your campaigns to use product listing ads is available here. If you have any question about how to use product ad features in the API you can reach us on the forum.

- Eric Koleda, AdWords API Team