Introduction to Google Shopping Priority




Google Ads and its supported tools have taken the e-commerce and retail world by storm, not least because they ease the manual workload and automate frustrating procedures that once burnt through a lot of time and effort.

Before getting into shopping campaigns, a general understanding of Google Shopping is needed. The tool allows customers to search for and compare products based on their search queries and long-tail searches directly on a Google platform. Google Shopping ads are image-based and relate to search terms, not keywords like regular text ads. This makes them more engaging and compelling, and likely to increase e-footfall to your website or online store.

Google Shopping Campaigns assist you, using their formats, to advertise and sell your products through Google platforms. Companies often have one product in multiple Shopping campaigns, but may not have the budget or the season to promote them from all campaigns. How, then, does a business notify Google Shopping of their priority? By using the Campaign Priority setting feature.


What is Google Shopping Campaign Priority?


Google Shopping Priority setting is a feature that was rolled out by Google as part of Google Ads and Google Shopping. This feature allows marketers to identify which campaign a bid should be taken from when advertising a certain product. What’s beneficial about this tool is that if you advertise the same item in various shopping campaigns but for the same nation, you can tell Google which campaign takes precedence over which.

For example, if you’re a retailer selling sneakers as part of your basics collection, you may also have the same pair of sneakers in, say, a sale campaign or a festival campaign. In this case, you may wish that a bid for any product during the discount season be taken from the sale campaign and bids for Christmas deals be taken from the festival campaign.

The campaign priority setting feature easily allows you to demarcate and allocate these bids based purely on your preference, ad spends and overall budget. It also makes clear to Google which campaign should participate in what sort of auctions and

Do note that by default, campaign settings are set to ‘Low’. You can set this to ‘Medium’ or ‘High’ depending on which campaign takes precedence and where you want the bid to be taken from. The basic logic behind this is simple- the campaign with the highest priority always bids first. There are a few prerequisites to this, as will be explored further down.


Why you need to focus on Google Shopping Priority Setting


Digital marketing can use a huge portion of the marketing budget of a business, so you don't want to spend it on promoting an incorrect product that the campaigns may share. You can advertise the right products at the correct moment and against the most relevant search query by altering the priority of a campaign. Here are the benefits of setting Google Shopping Campaign Priority:


Benefit #1: The highest priority bids.


If two campaigns share the same product, a big against a relevant search term will be taken from the bid with the highest priority setting first. This doesn’t always mean that the priority needs to be set to ‘High’- it could also be taken from a ‘Medium’ priority campaign if all your other campaigns are set to ‘Low’.


Benefit #2: Low bids don’t sacrifice traffic.


In this campaign setting feature, prioritizing a campaign as ‘Low’ doesn’t mean it won’t bring in traffic- it just means that traffic will be brought through another campaign at this point of time. Therefore, campaign priority settings don’t actually tamper with traffic flow; in fact, they make it more streamlined and relevant to both users and your sales targets.


Benefit #3: Sticks to the budget.


It is often the case that businesses have a fixed budget for a certain campaign but not another, especially during the sale or discount season. By setting campaign priorities, you can make sure that bids are not taken from another campaign that isn’t ready or has been put on hold to give way to another.


Benefit #4: Increases chances of conversions.


When a user enters a relevant search term, the bids are inserted on the search engine for ad space. This is great for promoting offers, inventory clearances, and discounts. If two campaigns share a product, one of which is a stock clearance campaign, you can set the priority as High in order to increase the chances of conversions from the stock clearance campaign first.


Benefit #5: Standard delivery method reserves funds.


Another interesting feature of this campaign setting option is reserving funds using the standard delivery method. Reserved funds mean your budget is spread evenly throughout the day, so it may come to be that your high priority campaign may not bid even if it has the budget, because these funds have been ring-fenced.


Benefit #6: The highest bid for similar priority settings.


Sometimes a business may have set the same priority settings for multiple shopping campaigns. In a case like this, a campaign that puts forth the highest bid is used, provided there’s an item in the group that relates most closely to the user’s search term.


How does Google Shopping Priority Setting work?


Google has a series of formulae to identify which campaign will participate in the auction and will then determine the bid accordingly.


Setting #1: The highest priority campaign bids.


This is regardless of how much ad spend has been allocated to the campaigns- the one with the highest priority setting sends a bit for relevant search terms.


Setting #2: Campaigns with non-reserved funds bid.


If a business has opted for a standard delivery method, then their budget for the day is spread evenly across campaigns. This way, if a high priority campaign hits its reserve limit for the day, the bid will automatically go from a campaign with non-reserved funds.


Setting #3: Next campaign bids when out of budget.


If a high priority campaign runs out of budget, then the next medium priority campaign bids in its place by default, as long as they have the same product. This is a good way to keep track of ad spend and allocate budget to different campaigns.

To be able to set shopping campaign priorities, you first need a Google Ads and Google Shopping account. The latter must be linked to your Google Merchant Center account for seamless campaign creation and customization.


Method # 1: The default way


  1. Log in to your Google Ads account and click ‘Campaigns’ in the page menu.

  2. Select the campaign you want to edit.

  3. Click ‘Settings’ on the page menu, then expand ‘Campaign Priority’.

  4. Change the priority as you wish to Low, Medium or High, then hit Save.


Method # 2: The AdNabu (Automatic) way


While setting up might be simple, understanding the functioning of Google Shopping and Google Ads requires quite a while. If your company has no time or resources but desperately requires this function to support your product feed, you can sign up on AdNabu for free to get all the assistance you need.

You can learn precisely how to use Google Ads and all its characteristics that will help boost conversions by over 30%. The firm produces and monitors various ad shopping campaigns that meet your business objectives, and is able to identify, right off the bat, the best-performing campaigns with high ROI.

To start your free trial on AdNabu,


  1. Navigate to the AdNabu homepage.

  2. If you’re registered, click on the ‘Login’ option and enter your dashboard.

  3. In the top left corner, you will be able to see a ‘Start Now’ button- click on it to begin.


Best Practices in using Google Shopping Priority Setting


This advanced and useful tool can be quite tricky to master, especially for a first-timer. Like all tools, even using Google Shopping and setting priorities can be done using optimized methods to get the most out of allocated budgets and campaign setups.


Best Practice #1: Set up an inventory filter.


This is Google’s pro tip- using an inventory filter on higher priority campaigns allows businesses to prioritize a specific subset of products in the inventory. This way, there’s no need to create separate campaigns for special products- it just allows easy management and bidding on these items during, say, special seasons like end-of-season sales and festival discounts.


Best Practice #2: Narrow down on negative keywords.


It’s common knowledge today that Google Shopping uses search terms to drive ads rather than high-ranking keywords. However, negative keywords, which are terms you don’t want to rank for, are crucial in determining a target audience and demographics. They improve the efficiency of your shopping ads and bring in more relevant traffic, which in turn will likely advance sales.


Best Practice #3: Use priority settings for campaigns with the same products.


Google has stressed upon this quite often- priority settings work best when you use them on campaigns that contain the same products that need to be promoted against different search terms or at different times. This is not to be confused with custom labels, where you may split products into different categories, but each set still has separate products.


Things to understand while considering Google Shopping priority


Consideration #1: Priority setting doesn’t effect unique campaigns.


This priority setting function was put in motion for multiple campaigns with the same products in them. Therefore, businesses won’t see any change is these settings are applied to unique campaigns i.e. campaigns that don’t have even a single common product.


Consideration #2: A negative keyword can prevent ad show.


There are only two occasions on which Google prioritizes a ‘Low’ campaign first, one of which is when a higher one’s budget runs out. However, setting negative keywords can also prevent specific campaigns from showing a product ad even if the campaign is set to the highest priority.


Consideration #3: Shared budgets spread ad spend.


To keep control over the total budget and ad spend through your account, it’s ideal to share budgets between campaigns. This is especially essential while setting priorities because if not, one campaign may run out of funds and Google will automatically divert bids to a lower priority one which may be more expensive.


Consideration #4: Use competitive metrics to set priorities.


To further optimize your campaigns and send bids from the most profitable ones, it’s ideal to look at competitive data and identify open opportunities. Click share, impression share, auction insights, and other options allow businesses to understand metrics and formulate benchmarks, using which campaign priorities can be set.


Consideration #5: Use the Bid Simulator strategically.


When qualifying campaign priorities, use the bid simulator to predict and scan results when bids are set higher or lower. Through this feature you don’t need to actively change bids and potentially incur losses; the simulation mimics the process as though bids were actually changed and presents results that may be or may have been if you’re looking at past data.




Campaign Setting is the latest in line of automation features led by tech giant Google. It definitely makes life simpler for businesses, but a steady monitoring system and correct setups are key to running a campaign smoothly and effectively.