New Google Image Search Ads

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Quickly following Google’s announcement last week of the Image Search Results page redesign, Google’s UX team have also va va voomed the ads that appear on these pages.

There have been talks within Google for a long time about monetising the Image Search results pages. They first planted standard text ads directly above the image results, though I’ve always thought they felt out of place. I remember discussing this with my then Google colleagues and there being a general consensus that text ads on these pages had gone a step too far, that they were obtrusive and we weren’t inclined to click on them. It didn’t seem overly user friendly.

Google Image Search Ads - shoes example

It’s funny though, that Google’s very tiny innovation of adding a thumbnail image to the ads, has made it work! I now actually quite like the ads there. I find them more useful, and they fit in better. Afterall, when I go to the Image Search Results page, I’m looking for an image. If I search for an item I’d like to buy on Image Search, it makes sense that I see a picture of it and have the option to be linked directly through to an appropriate retail website.


What I especially love about the new Image Search Ads is that they’re created using the Display Ad Builder. This is a great tool that allows you to create snazzy animated display ads without having to know any coding. It contains hundred of customisable templates, and I’d only hope that this Image search ad introduction will lead more people to use the Display Ad Builder and advertise more on the Google Display Network.

Display Ad Builder

How to create an Image Search Ad:

  1. Log in to your AdWords account
  2. Select the campaign or ad group you’d like to add Image Search ads to
  3. Click the Ads tab
  4. Select Display Ad Builder from the ‘new ad’ drop down menu
  5. Select ‘Templates for Search’ and choose Image Search Ad

Use this template to match your ad text with relevant, appealing images.

How to track performance of your Image Search Ad(s):

– It’s recommended that you create a new ad group for your Image Search ads. This will allow you to target suitable keyword, adjust bids and track performance of your Image Search ads separately to your standard search text ads.

– You can review specific performance metrics for your Image Search ads.

– Image Search ads are priced in the same way as standard AdWords Search ads, with cost per click pricing.

What do you think?

Do you prefer the new Image Search Ads to the previous text only ones?

Are you a fan of the Display Ad Builder?

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2 Responses to New Google Image Search Ads

  1. Sam July 31, 2010 at 6:14 am #

    Interesting Post. I think I’ll start setting up some Image Search Ads. It should work pretty well for me, since I sell landscape oil paintings. I really like this new feature. Cheers for the heads up Search Scientist 🙂

  2. louisemccartan August 2, 2010 at 10:43 am #

    For the first time ever, it seems, Google are even advertising about their Image Ads – and specifically on the Image Search Results pages, about these Image Search Results enhanced with thumbnail text ads. I browsed online to find an example, but didn’t manage to, however this guy did –

    Perhaps it’s only launched in America? Let me know if you guys see it. Cheers, Louise

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