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Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

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# 1
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I feel like I'm on crazy pills or missing something huge!

When I'm watching all the videos that have been produced on Google Shopping, it shows that when you create an Ad Group you can deselect the "All Products" option.

But now it seems that you have a choice of "All Products" or "All Products with subdivisions". Seems confusing as to how I would create a Best Sellers Ad Group.

Please direct me on the best video that covers this, seems that all the best videos are created months ago, and none directly address the fact that when you create a Google Shopping Ad Group you have to choose between two radio select options, neither of which allow me to create only a Best Sellers Ad Group.


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Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
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And I'm hearing the term "Product Target" being thrown around, but don't see that anywhere in the current interface.

Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

(a) product-listing-ads (google-shopping)
is a competitive advertising auction.

(b) inventory items that are submitted can be
subdivided to place bids on groups of items.

(c) subdivisions can be based on the physical item's characteristics --
such as bidding differently on all toys vs all electronics items;


existing attributes such as google_product_category,

brand, and product_type can be used for this purpose.

(d) subdivisions can be based on more abstract groups or self-assigned groups --
such as bidding differently on high-margin items or best-sellers.


the optional custom_label_ attributes

can be used for this purpose.

(e) using ad-groups and product-targets are old, legacy, terms that
were once required for subdividing old product-listing-ad-campaigns.;

at one time, ad-groups could also be used to add promotional-text

to groups of items -- such as free-shipping or coupon-codes --

since promotional-text is not allowed in submitted data (feeds).

most any video or text mentioning such terms -- in the context of
google-shopping -- no longer apply and should likely be ignored.

(f) product-listing-ad-campaigns have been replaced by shopping-campaigns --
shopping-campaigns now use product-groups for bidding on subdivisions.

to create a best-sellers product-group for a shopping-campaign:
(1) add a custom_label_0 attribute (column) to the current feed;
(2) only for items that are best-sellers, add best-sellers to their row,

under the custom_label_0 (attribute) column -- leave all others blank;
(3) resubmit the feed -- and wait a few hours for the items to process;
(4) within the existing shopping-campaign -- subdivide the
product-group by the new custom-label (best-sellers) that

was just added, and assign the updated bid to that group.

google now places promotional-text, such as
free-shipping, automatically on all items --
or, the merchant-promotions-program may be used
for adding coupons and similar promotions to items --

so, such ad-groups are no longer needed.

more recent videos that show subdividing a
shopping-campaign by product-groups are here:

again, ad-groups and product-targets,
for this purpose, no longer apply and
are no longer used.

see also


Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks very much, extremely helpful answer.

So as I understand, in response to your point (e) above, the red +Ad Group button shown in 0:39 of should be completely ignored, and there should only be the All Products default ad group which then takes you to Product Groups, where the actual subdividing and bidding takes place?

Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

yes, that sounds basically correct.

although, completely ignored is slightly excessive --
since all product-group divisions and related bidding

must (still) exist, structurally, under an ad-group.

shopping-campaign => ad-group => all-products -> product-groups

the second video may show this a bit better at about 1:08 --
the promotional-text detail for the ad-group
also no longer applies and may be ignored.

the ad-group is now mainly a simple container
for the product-groups, to add negative-words,
or auction adjustments -- such as scheduling.


Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks, continues to make more sense with your help.

So in general, the use of creating additional ad groups would be to use different promotional text? That would be one use for them stat still applies, right? Even though I know Merchant Promotions exists and allows you to do more...

Also - would it be an ok practice to create two ad groups to create different product group subdivisions?

For example, in ad group #1, I want the top level sub division to be by product type.

But then in ad group #2, I want the top level sub division to be by BestSeller vs Others.

Or will that cause conflicts in product bidding?

Re: Shopping Campaign Ad Groups vs Product Groups...huge confusion.

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor

ad-groups for promotional-text have been retired,
no longer applies, and will otherwise be ignored
if configured or used for that purpose.

the only options for promotional-text are now:
(a) automatically assigned by google;
(b) the merchant-promotions-program;
also, promotional-text within a products-feed is a policy violation.

product-groups should now be used for all
subdividing of items for bidding strategies --
e.g. product_type, best-sellers, all others.


generally, all product-groups (subdivisions) are under one, single, ad-group.

currently, more than one ad-group may be used for:
(a) assigning different sets of negative-words;
(b) assigning different auction (bid) adjustments -- such as,
scheduling certain sets of items to show only during specific

time frames or, device or more granular location targeting.


these are generally advanced concepts that should be considered or

used usually only after some actionable data has been accumulated --

otherwise, only one ad-group is needed for all product-group divisions.

yes, improper ad-group details, campaign-priorities, or

contrary product-group bidding-strategies, can cause

conflicts and items to never participate in the auctions.


a merchant-center product-listing-ads support specialist,

at google, may be contacted, to look directly into both of

the accounts, for account-specific help and guidance.


to emphasize -- ad-groups for promotional-text, subdividing

products, product-targets -- are all concepts that are retired,

no longer apply to shopping-campaigns, and should be ignored

with respect to any reference and should be ignored for any such

use in those contexts.