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Google AdWords & Shopping: These Companies Advertise The Most

We have analyzed the two most important advertising forms in the U.S. search results of – Google AdWords and Google Shopping (Product Listing Ads, PLA). The results of the study can be downloaded as a whitepaper below. It contains findings about the 10 biggest advertisers in AdWords & Shopping as well as information about the two advertising platforms in relation to market penetration, pricing, and CTR.

Google Shopping & AdWords study

Summary: The key findings of the study

In our study, “Google Shopping & AdWords: The 10 Most Important Players” we have identified the biggest advertisers in 2014 for advertising pop-ups and shopping advertisements from the U.S. search results of

The foundation of our research is the PPC visibility value, which is one of many useful metrics offered in the Searchmetrics Suite.

 Download Shopping/ AdWords Paper Here


AdWords results

What are AdWords?

AdWords are predominantly text-based advertisements in the search results pages. These ads are displayed over, under, or to the right of organic search results, and are marked with a yellow icon labeled “Ad”.

Who are the biggest advertisers?

The results show that had the highest PPC visibility in 2014. The online store has an aggregate annual visibility of 9,381,597 points in It was followed in 2nd and 3rd place by (6,577,132 points) and (6,366,023 points), which generate traffic for their own search result pages via Google Ads.

Keyword share, CTR & pricing?

Last year, on average, at least one AdWord advertisement popped up in 63 percent of all keyword searches – a value unchanged from the previous year. AdWords have a slightly lower click-through rate than the PLAs of Google Shopping, but on average they also have a lower click price.

AdWords & Google Shopping: Keyword Share of integrations


Google Shopping results

What are Product Listing Ads?

PLAs – also known as Google Shopping – were introduced in their existing form at the start of 2013. They are displayed above or next to the search results and are product offers that provide a photo, the price, and a link to the supplier. In addition to these points, Google will now also include price comparison information.  According to Techcrunch, Google is testing these changes in order to catch up to Amazon and their growing market share in product related searches. For this study, we have independently calculated the PLA visibility.

Who are the biggest advertisers?

In 2014, had the highest PLA visibility with 7,591,817 points. came in a close second with 6,198,399 points and ranked third with 2,289,424 points.

Keyword share, CTR & pricing?

The proportion of keywords whose search results trigger the display of PLAs in Google has more than doubled in the course of 2014 – from 7.5 to 16 percent. As previously indicated, both the CTR and the click price for PLAs are on average higher than they are for AdWords.


The AdWords top player –

With 9,381,59 points, achieved the highest PPC visibility for AdWords  in 2014. This means that the AdWords advertisements from Amazon were the most frequently displayed in the respective Google search results. Our analysis also reveals that Amazon almost exclusively relies on AdWords when it comes to PPC ads. Up until now, the online store has not been noticeably active in the area of Product Listing Ads on Google Shopping. This might be because Amazon is to some extent actually a Google competitor and offers Product Ads of its own.

If we look at the paid visibility section in the Searchmetrics Suite, currently scores 860,900 points. From our analysis it is also apparent that Amazon used to do even more AdWords about two years ago, but still relies largely on desktop AdWords– its mobile PPC Visibility is only about one ninth of its desktop PPC Visibility.

Searchmetriocs Suite - PPC Visibility

Data that covers the last 3 months are available to the public; no login required – Suite customers of course get the full insight.

If you have a Searchmetrics login, you can access the detailed PPC visibility analysis for Amazon. Among other things, you can view Amazon’s historical PPC visibility and analyze fluctuations (like the dip in 2013) that may be associated with changed ad budgets.

Searchmetrics Suite - Paid Visibility -

Furthermore, in the PPC Research section of the Searchmetrics Suite, it is possible to analyze the top paid keywords, the top industries, the average CPC prices, and the competitors of Conclusions can also be drawn as to whether Amazon AdWords are mostly displayed above or next to the search results (currently, 80 percent of advertisements are displayed to the right of organic results).

Searchmetrics Suite - Paid Spread -

The Shopping top player –

With 7,591,817 points, achieved the highest PPC visibility for Google Shopping in 2014. Our PLA data allows us to do a more detailed analysis of eBay’s visibility.

Strong fluctuations are apparent in eBay’s PLA Visibility over the course of even one week. One possible explanation for this is that eBay has adjusted its expenditure on shopping advertisements several times in the course of 2014 – and as a result its PLA advertisements were displayed with inconsistent frequency on Google.

PLA Visibility

Unlike Amazon, eBay does not put all of its eggs in one basket. eBay is not only the leader in PLA visibility, but it also ranks 14th in our latest PPC Visibility analysis which expresses visibility in terms of AdWords.

Searchmetrics Suite - Paid Visibility -

All results of the Google Shopping & AdWords study, including the top 10 rankings and other detailed analyses, can be downloaded.

 Download Shopping/ AdWords Paper Here

Do you have questions or comments about our study on Googling Shopping & AdWords? We are happy to read your opinion in the comments!

Jan Grundmann

Jan Grundmann

Jan Grundmann covers all important topics related to search engine optimization and content marketing, including analysis of new Google Updates and data from the Searchmetrics Suite. Jan Grundmann has been working as a journalist and content marketer since 2005. He has been a regular author on the Searchmetrics Blog since 2015, and also writes for his railway travel portal

3 thoughts on “Google AdWords & Shopping: These Companies Advertise The Most

  • Thanks Jan for shraing it. Do you think there are connections between AdWords and Organic Seo? I suppose AdWords increase organic positioning because of thrust increase

  • Hi,
    no, I don’t believe that AdWords has a direct relation with increasing organic rankings. But, landing pages (and the whole domain as well) can receive positive user signals from AdWords traffic. And this can correlate with higher organic rankings afterwards, because Google tracked that users like your website.


  • Karolina Kowalczyk 2016/12/04 at 10:32 pm

    I also don’t believe that AdWords has a direct relation with increasing organic rankings. It doesn’t make a sense.

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