Glossary of PPC Search Engine Marketing Terms

Learn Pay Per Click: paid & organic - product listing ads

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The Paid & Organic dimension available only on the Google AdWords PPC interface, allows users who have linked their Google AdWords account with their Google Analytics account. Performance for impressions, clicks, and Click-Through Rate (CTR), among other metrics, is shown for the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) when only a paid ad listing shows, only an organic or natural listing shows, or both on the same result. Reviewing the paid & organic dimension is a good way to see how performance occurs for a search query when different combinations of organic and paid listings occur to determine if PPC is still necessary for a keyword, should the organic listing receive clicks, or whether it is imperative to get the website to rank for more organic keywords targeted by the PPC account.

Paid & Organic

Pay Per Click (PPC)

Pay Per Click, better known by its acronym PPC, is a paid advertising model for showing an advertiser's paid listings on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), a network of websites for search and/or display, video advertising, shopping and other channels. The PPC advertiser places their ad listings by paying in an auction bidding methodology, where account managers compete to receive their ad rank position. PPC is geared toward quickly showing a business's listings, as opposed to Search Engine Optimization, which is a longer process helping the website naturally or organically rank for user search queries.

Pay Per Click (PPC) Account Management

Pay Per Click (PPC) account management takes place when a dedicated specialist or agency reviews, analyzes and applies adjustments or optimizations to improve efficacy, reduce waste, and increase market share within Key Performance Indicator (KPI) metrics. Account management can be applied with a combination of manual review and labor applied along with scripts, use of the PPC platform's Application Program Interface (API) or rules that are enabled when settings are met.

The phrase keyword match type accrues an ad impression when a user's search query includes the phrasing of the keyword in the PPC account, plus additional words before or after the keyword, but not in between. The phrase keyword match type is applied to a new keyword by adding quotes " " around the phrase. The keyword matches to search queries that contain the phrase or a close variation such as pluralizing, with words added before or after. An example phrase match, "red roses in miami" would accrue an ad for the search query "where can I buy red roses in miami florida" because the core phrase of the keyword remains intact. Phrase keyword match type is the second tightest control and allows for limited exposure to new keywords for the PPC account, leading to less advertising spend, should budget be a concern.

Phrase keyword match type

Placements are websites on the Google Display Network (GDN) or search partners for either Google AdWords or Microsoft's Bing Ads platforms to show ad impressions or not. Placements are a display campaign setting for targeting whether banner, image or video ads will show. The search partners network also shows ads to specific placements or not such as (Google AdWords search partner) or (Bing Ads search partner). Placement exclusions are websites excluded from accruing an ad impression.


Price extensions are one of the latest Google AdWords ad extensions available to add additional pricing information for a business's offerings beyond the ad copy itself. The price extension requires a minimum of 3 products or services listed with their individual headlines (clickable, like sitelink ad extensions), a description line, both of which have 25 character maximum limits, a price and a final url that users are sent to upon clicking the headline. Price extensions are chosen by type such as services or brands, a currency and a price qualifier such as "up to" or "from" and pricing units such as hourly rates or monthly rates. The price extensions are useful for any PPC advertiser selling a product for more than $0.00 and is especially helpful to differentiate those who compete on price, as well as to weed out users who cannot afford the higher end boutique pricing of more expensive price point advertisers.

Price extensions

Product feed

The product feed contains the list of product offerings and their attributes, which are input into the merchant center, and used by the Google AdWords interface for running shopping campaigns and product listing ads (PLAs). The product feed has certain attributes that are required such as the brand, the price, a universal ID such as a UPC code, and other attributes as required by industry or category (such as clothing). 

Product groups are the ad group equivalent format for shopping campaigns to sort products from a shopping feed in an orderly manner for a PPC advertiser or account manager to review, analyze and optimize the account for individual items or groups of products. The product groups can be broken down into multiple levels that can eventually lead to organization at the individual item level. Some sorting options for product groups include product types, brand, category and custom labels, of which are pulled and curated from the merchant center product feed.

product groups

Product Listing Ads (PLAs), an antiquated term for shopping ads, are an ad format that shows items for purchase on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Ads of this nature show a high quality image of a product with a white background, a price, the brand or PPC advertiser selling and a headline that is the item. Some Product Listing Ad extensions exist such as finding it in a local store for brick and mortar locations and special offers, which are implemented via the product feed through the merchant center.

Product Listing Ads (PLA)

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