Google look like they are experimenting with Product Listing Ads (PLA) to give shopping results a higher profile in search results.
ChannelAdvisor, who offer Paid Search to their retailer customers, keep a close eye on these things and have spotted that as well as the normal sidebar PLAs, Google have been displaying PLAs above paid and natural search results.
We can see this in the UK as well, but what I’ve not seen yet is the arrow which can be clicked to expand the PLA results right across the page pushing all paid and natural search results down the page.
ChannelAdvisor point out that this new expanded view is a double edged sword. Yes it gives your product more chance of being displayed, but equally they suggest that click through rates could drop as your product could be competing with as many as 15 other products instead of the normal 8 (in the side bar) or 5 (above paid and natural search results).
Check out the ChannelAdvisor blog for a more indepth analysis along with screen shots of the various PLA display iterations and download ChannelAdvisor’s excellent “13 Questions to Ask Your Agency About Google’s Shopping Campaigns” ebook for more background information on paid search and PLAs.