The team at CPC Strategy spotted a new test in the Google Product Listing Ads (PLAs) last night. In a search for coffee grinders that was qualified with “best”, the PLAs were shown in order of a numerical rankings system that appears to be factoring in the quality and quantity of each item’s ratings.
<img class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-191006" style="border: 1px solid black" alt="PLA Rankings Test Spotted By CPC Strategy" src="http://searchengineland.com/figz/wp-content/seloads/2014/05/google-pla-rankings-cpcstrategy-600×339.jpg” width=”600″ height=”339″ />
In the screenshot above, notice that #2 ranked Cuisinart Supreme has by far the most reviews at 312, but with a rating of 4 stars it loses out to 5-star rated Capresso Infinity which has 169 reviews. However, the Cuisinart Supreme is still able to outrank three items with 4.5 stars (De Longhi, Breville and Baratza Encore) which each have significantly fewer ratings than the Cuisinart with the Breville and Baratza with fewer than 50 each.
Similarly, looking at the Baratza Encore and Breville Smart, which rank 5th and 6th respectively, each has a rating of 4.5 stars, yet Baratza with 48 reviews ranks ahead of the Breveille with just 30 reviews.
CPC Strategy also noted that the test worked with the qualifier “top” as well and pointed out that the link to the Google Shopping portal says “Shop for top rated coffee grinders on Google” in the results for “best coffee grinders”.
I haven’t been able to replicate the test, yet, but Roman Fitch a retail specialist at CPC Strategy notes that the test seemed to be running on electronics and appliances. So keep your eyes out. We’ve reached out to Google for comment and will provide any update here.