Introducing Image Search Ads

If you’ve used Google Image Search at all recently, you’ve probably noticed that things are looking a bit different thanks to a redesign launched by Google last week. The images are grouped closely together, which allows more results to be displayed on the page. If you mouse over a specific image, the image expands out to a larger size with its source displayed below it. After you click an image, you are sent directly to the destination page with the image overlaid at full size. Most exciting for us with the new Google Image Search redesign is the introduction of a new ad format – Image Search Ads!

Image Search Ads allow you to target the millions of users searching Google images. The ads combine text with basic images, which creates more relevant ads that grab the user’s attention. I did a quick search for shoes, and this is what showed up:

Notice the Image Search Ads from Sears.com and Skechers.com, with simple images of shoes that are very similar to the search results.

So, why should you use the new Image Search Ad format?


Untapped Opportunity: Image Search Ads are the first ad format designed for Google Image Search (one of the largest search engines in the world, with over 10 billion cataloged images!).

Complement Web Search: Image Search Ads complement your search campaigns by reaching users who are in the beginning stages of the buying cycle. It’s a great way to capture the attention of users who are researching your product.

Improved Click Through Rate: Since the Image Search Ads are more noticeable than standard text ads, they jump out from the page and engage the user, thereby improving CTR.

Easy to Do: You can create your ads right within the Display Ad Builder in your AdWords account. You don’t need complicated images with text or animations (in fact, simpler is better for Image Search ads).

To get the most out of your Image Search Ads, it’s important to create new ad groups so that you can target keywords, adjust bids, and track performance specifically for the Image Search Ads. Relevance is crucial – your ad text and your image must be very relevant, otherwise you risk the ad not showing due to low Quality Score. Also, the image should be found on the landing page of the ad. The ads that perform the best have images that are very similar to the search results images, like the simple sneakers that Skechers and Sears show in their ads for shoes.

Image Search Ads FAQ

Q: Is there a difference between an Image Search Ad and an image ad?
A: Yes. Image Search Ads combine an image and text and appear on Google Image Search only. There’s no animation in the ads, and they don’t appear anywhere else.

Q: Is the Image Search Ad format available worldwide?
A: Image Search Ads are available in all countries, except for Argentina and France. Advertisers in those countries can still use this ad format, as long as they aren’t targeting those countries with the ads.

Q: Can I track performance at the keyword level?
A: Yes, just make sure to create the ad in a new ad group.

Q: Can I use dynamic keyword insertion with Image Search Ads?
A: Yes, dynamic keyword insertion will work with the Image Search Ads.

For more help getting started with this new ad format, you can check out the AdWords Help Center.