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Significant impression share drop, Shopping Campaigns

Badged Google Partner
# 1
Badged Google Partner



One of my clients has seen a significant Shopping Campaigns impression share decrease.

The drop began mid-April 2016 and has continued, almost across the board for all 19 Shopping Campaigns. (There's 1 Campaign for each brand sold.)

Some stats for 2 selected Campaigns, Jun - mid August vs same period 2015...
Campaign 1
Impressions Share: -20%
Spend: -3%
Avg CPC: +22%
Budget: no change

Campaign 2
Impression Share: -33%
Spend: -38%
Avg CPC: -16%
Budget: no change

Below is a graph showing Jan to mid-Aug, 2016 vs 2015 for all 19 Shopping Campaigns.

There are factors to consider: competition has increased, my client's products tend to be more expensive, etc. But, this drop is truly staggering and pretty much all-of-the-sudden.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Significant impression share drop, Shopping Campaigns

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

such impression-share drops, minus competition, are typically related to
quality, targeting, seasonality, or similar user-interest based behaviors.

the announced-changes related to quality, in that time frame,
included unit-pricing, product-image size and quality, and
increased enforcement of existing rules and policies related
to global-trade-data and item variants and their attributes --
identifier_exists, brand, gtin, mpn, size, color, item_group_id,

etc; not adhering to any policy or recommendations within all

submitted data, or on the website, can result in global quality

drops, at any time.

generally, about the only thing to do is inspect all data submitted
against all google's rules, policies, and recommendations and the
physical characteristics of the specific item-offers being submitted,
along with the site, targeting, seasonality, and user-interest details.

otherwise, forum-members cannot look into any submitted data or accounts --
posting more specific information, here within the public forums, may allow
others to offer more specific suggestions.

otherwise, a merchant-center shopping-ads specialist may be contacted
to look directly into the submitted data, accounts, and landing-page details.


Re: Significant impression share drop, Shopping Campaigns

Badged Google Partner
# 3
Badged Google Partner
Thank you kindly for your reply.

I should have mentioned that, of the 4,000 SKUs, only 3 have notifications in Merchant Center, and just 11 have errors.

All SKUs have a UPC, MPN as well as brand, and have had all 3 for many, many years. All images meet the newer dimensions requirement.

No SKUs in this particular product category have color or size dimensions; all, from every seller, are the same, except for price.

Quality Scores for text ads are 9s and 10s. If there were QS for Shopping, they'd probably be 9s and 10s, too.

I started these Shopping campaigns early 2008, back when Shopping was free and called Google Base. Not that these campaigns haven't been nurtured or adjustments / improvements haven't been made over that time. Just to say that, during that time, and going back to the early 2000s, I've never seen such a sudden and severe decrease such as this, with no discernible reason.

Again, thanks for your thoughtful reply.

Re: Significant impression share drop, Shopping Campaigns

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

first, you're welcome.

global-trade-data can be incorrect for the item-offer and not be flagged;
similarly, certain items may do better with proper size or color information
if there are any related variants, or may be submitted with improper color
or size data, and not be flagged; all these any many other factors such as

price, reviews, and ratings, may be a source for drops in quality over time.

yes, there have been many changes to shopping-ads since google-base.

user-behavior or targeting are otherwise the most likely contributing factors;
e.g. consider website landing-page quality -- especially mobile friendliness.

generally, since impression-share is the number of impressions received over
an estimate -- the number of impressions that google estimates were eligible
to be received -- a drop is usually tied to quality (rank) or budget.

be certain to inspect all other related metrics and available tools --
e.g. time-segments, devices, lost-is-budget/rank, impressions, clicks, etc.

regardless, about the only responsive actions are to adjust budgets or bids,
improve quality, or improve the campaign (negative-words, targeting, etc) --
making careful measurements before, during, and after any changes, and
changing only one variable at a time is a best-practice.

the more important metrics are almost always clicks, cost, and conversions.

unfortunately, forum-members cannot look into any account-specific information --
forum-members can mainly offer suggestions based on the information that is
posted here within the public forums.

otherwise, the best likely course would be to contact google directly --

see also