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Google Buys Channel Intelligence, Invests in PLA Management

Posted on Monday, February 11th, 2013 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - SEM


Google has acquired Channel Intelligence, a retail feed management and shopping performance company, for $125 million cash. With clients like Target, Philips, HP, and BestBuy, Channel Intelligence drives $2 billion annually in retail sales through advanced data management and product feed optimization.

Seeing the incredible growth of PLAs in 2012-13 (Google PLAs now account for 10.7% of total online retail spend while Yahoo/Bing is just 13.8% total), Google is betting that this huge boom will continue, allowing it to compete with Amazon and eBay for retail consumers.

Because dynamic PLA ads offer a direct path to specific products via retailer feeds, it’s a no-brainer for Google to be deeply involved in the management and optimization of them. Google controls the advertising space, so investing in how the product information gets there not only protects their new cash cow, it manages and will develop it.

It will be interesting to see how the Google PLA space matures in 2013 as the company invests in the infrastructure around it. Will the Google SERP retail pages eventually become direct Amazon-like feeds where

searchers can quickly purchase retail products after comparing sizes, pictures, and colors? Seems like an ideal retail SERP for mobile and tablet devices, doesn’t it?

For more info on Google PLAs check out our recent whitepaper, “Optimizing Product Listing Ads for Better ROI.”

About Ryan Jamison

Ryan has been at The Search Agency since 2008 and now serves as Senior Group Director of Paid Search. Past employers include Yahoo!, Inc. and STAR Education. Ryan is a graduate of UC Berkeley with postgraduate study completed at the American Film Institute. Ryan has over nine years of experience in creative advertising for both TV and search engine marketing. His hobbies include sports, music and enjoying the deserts and beaches of Southern California.

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One Response to “Google Buys Channel Intelligence, Invests in PLA Management”

  1. Dale says:

    So – the question then becomes, “What do retailers need to do to make sure that they are either ahead of the game or at least staying in the competition?” Get into PLAs early to get a foothold and learnings or wait until the products are more mature and efficient?


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