eBay Introduces Smart Targeting For Promoted Listings Advanced Ads

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay has officially announced smart targeting for Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click ads, allowing sellers to "set it and forget it" with eBay completely managing ad bidding and keyword optimization.

Introducing smart targeting for Promoted Listings Advanced
Creating and launching a Promoted Listings Advanced campaign on eBay is easier than ever with smart targeting.

Save time advertising on eBay with new smart targeting.
Smart targeting for Promoted Listings Advanced campaigns are easy to set up and are designed to automatically update to optimize your ad campaign settings.

Simply select the listings you’d like to promote, and eBay will take care of the rest by automatically optimizing your ad campaign settings and handling the bidding and targeting for you.

This is an exciting new feature to help simplify campaign management for both experienced advertisers and those new to Promoted Listings Advanced. Smart targeting can provide so much value just in time for the holiday season, to include:

A simpler way to launch new campaigns

  • Access to ad placements across eBay, including search results and relevant listing pages
  • Enhanced methods to discover new keywords to add to manual campaigns
  • Read on for more information about smart targeting and how to get started.

Save time
Creating and maintaining a high performing campaign can be time consuming. Using smart targeting can help you save time while reaching your advertising goals.

Unlike campaigns using manual targeting, with smart targeting there’s no need to spend time selecting ad groups, keywords, and bids. This new targeting type helps you reach the right buyers at the right time.

Boost visibility
Advanced campaigns can help sellers reach more buyers and boost holiday sales by giving priority access to placements across eBay with advanced campaign management options like targeting and budget controls.

With smart targeting, your ads can appear across eBay in search results and relevant listings pages, helping to increase exposure and drive more sales. Act now and take advantage of eBay’s Promoted Listings Advanced campaigns to give your listings the higher visibility they deserve during the busiest shopping period of the year!

Campaigns will auto-update for you
Smart targeting is ideal for new and experienced sellers who want a simplified set up and campaigns that automatically update. These campaigns are set up to optimize ad campaign settings to keep you competitive during seasonal moments and trends.

Promoted Listings Advanced launched in June 2021 and after a lengthy 2 year "beta" period, was recently expanded to more sellers and more placements on the platform.

eBay Promoted Listings Advanced Is Out Of Beta & Ready To Expand
eBay Promoted Listings Advanced finally ready for prime time after 2 year beta test with new single listing setup.

This new Smart Targeting campaign type comes along with a slightly new design to the Promoted Listings campaign dashboard as well.

Here's what it used to look like - Promoted Listings Standard showed the Simple, Bulk, and Automated campaigns upfront and Advanced with only one campaign type.

The new design hides the different campaign types behind a "get started" button and makes an eyebrow raising claim that using Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click will "get more sales."

If you select the Smart campaign, all you have to do is select a campaign name, add the listings to include, set a daily budget and a maximum cost per click and trust eBay to take care of the rest.

Promoted Listings Advanced Smart Targeting
Your smart Promoted Listings Advanced campaign will automatically update over time to optimize your ad campaign settings. Select the listings you'd like to promote, and eBay takes care of bidding and targeting for you.

For those who are not quite that trusting, manual set up is still an option.

Sellers have recently noted unapproved changes being made to their Promoted Listings rates, which is particularly concerning with Cost Per Click ads.

Parts and Accessories seller Zamo-Zuan has reported keywords being automatically added to Promoted Listings Advanced campaigns with no input or consent from the seller.

Re: Ugh. Check your listings for CHANGED promotion rates
Oh, and one more comment on topic of the OP.... After noticing PLA performance drop for a few weeks, I decided to look further, and I had recently found that eBay added a TON of keywords to our PLA campaign and had been giving themselves their “recommended rates” WITHOUT US EVER APPROVING IT! It…

After noticing PLA performance drop for a few weeks, I decided to look further, and I had recently found that eBay added a TON of keywords to our PLA campaign and had been giving themselves their "recommended rates" WITHOUT US EVER APPROVING IT!

It's been known that they create the "sample" campaigns or whatever, but they're inactive.

This time, they added the keywords to an active campaign! A campaign we've had running since BEFORE they did the recommendations. It should be impossible for them to give any suggestions in an existing campaign! But somehow eBay managed to do it:


We did not add ANY of those keywords!

It's no wonder our campaign started performing badly... With us paying $2-3 PER CLICK (when we could advertise on Google directly for better rates than that!) it was filling up our daily max with wasted clicks!

You can no longer trust ANYTHING eBay does with these promotions. Not only do the numbers not add up, but eBay will have "glitches" that coincidentally give them more and more money.

Will you trust eBay to completely manage your Promoted Listings Advanced Cost Per Click ads with Smart Targeting? Let us know in the comments below!


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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!