I've made the case for the importance of google email list shopping many times, but I still don't feel like reality has really set in for many paid search advertisers. Simply put, shopping is the single most important aspect of paid search management for most online retailers today, and that only continued to become more true in the final weeks of the year. As we approach 2019. Here are my thoughts on recent trends and how things will move in the coming quarters. The fourth quarter indicates that google's growth track for shopping is far from overas digital advertising platforms mature, it is expected that click growth will eventually decline as user growth slows and ads become fully optimized.
This is also true of ad formats within a platform. In the list case of google shopping, data from merkle (my employer) from the fourth quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2018 seemed to indicate that google was finally starting to run out of ways to increase traffic for email list ads for a product offering (pla). Average quarterly click growth declined to 18%, compared to an average click growth of 38% between q4 2016 and q3 2017. Then came q4…. In the first ten weeks of the quarter, clicks on google shopping were up 34% year-on-year, a massive acceleration from the third quarter, when impressions soared.
This was especially true on phones, where impression email list growth jumped from 55% in q3 to 111% in q4. It's not entirely clear where all the new impressions are coming from, but looking at the corresponding text ad trends, it looks like they're happening at least in part at the expense of the old ad format. Clicks on non-branded text ads were down 26% year-on-year in the first ten weeks of the quarter, the biggest drop ever for merkle advertisers, with all device types seeing record declines. As such, retailers should expect to continue devoting more resources to shopping optimization. For all the “death of the keyword” talk, the query entered by a user is still important, especially in google shopping.