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I’ve seen this question a lot since Shopping Campaigns came out in beta. Now that Shopping Campaigns have been released globally the short answer is always use Shopping Campaigns. The reason being Google recently announced that traditional PLA’s will be retired in late August 2014 and any PLA campaign that has not upgraded will be automatically upgraded to the new system.

Concerns

When shopping campaigns were initially released we had a few concerns, the biggest being the loss of ad groups in favor of product groupings. The concern was the fact that you could only have one product group for each campaign, although you could sub-segment your product targets within that product group there was no way to segment products between product groups. This required whole new campaigns.

Unfortunately this meant we could no longer easily utilize a sku-level campaign structure for strict control, apply negatives at the ad group level for sculpting traffic, or utilize promotional copy at the ad group level.

Google heard our concerns and shortly after Shopping Campaigns were released globally they added ad groups back into Shopping Campaigns.

Multiple ad groups for advanced retailers – While many of you will be happy with your Shopping campaign as is, we’ve heard from advanced retailers that they’d like to create multiple ad groups. It’s now possible to do this within a Shopping campaign.

The re-addition of multiple ad groups into Shopping Campaigns solves our concerns. Now there is really no reason not to migrate to Shopping Campaigns.

Migration

Migrating traditional PLA’s to Shopping Campaigns is our next step and we’ve got a few months to do this on our own before Google flips the switch.

Google has provided an option for translating your existing PLA’s to Shopping Campaigns.

Shopping Campaign Migration

This option will migrate all of the campaign collateral to the new shopping campaign set up. Your campaign settings, account structure, negative keywords at both the campaign and ad group level, and the promotional copy you’re using will be migrated.

Unfortunately the tool will not automatically re-associate your product targets with your ad groups, this part you’ll have to go through and do manually.

So, to answer the question at hand, we should be using Shopping Campaigns from here on out. Happy migrating!

This is a guest post by Heather Cooan, Director of Client Services at ClixMarketing. Frequent writer and speaker on digital media related topics. Technical editor of Google AdWords – Managing Your Advertising Program (O’Reilly Media, 2011). Listed in PPC Hero’s The Top 25 Most Influential PPC Experts in 2013.

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