First Look at Google AdWords Image Search Ads – PPC Tuesday

By Kevin
TOPICSGoogle, Product Ads

Have you heard about Google’s “Image Search” Ads for AdWords yet? Here’s a first look:

Image Search Ads

For today’s PPC Tuesday we will be taking a first look at a new type of Google AdWords ad that is beginning to surface in the new Image Search Ads. This ad is shown when a user is within the Google Images results for a search.

Previously, Product Extensions and product Listing Ads were only shown in Google Images. Standard text ads haven’t been shown here since 2010. Image Search Ads are being introduced as an alternative to PLAs for advertisers that do not have a Google Merchant account. This could also be a way to provide an option for advertisers once Google Shopping transitions to a Pay-to-play model.

As you can see in the example here, it resembles a text ad but also features a thumbnail image to the right of the four lines of text. It is important to note that this is not an extension of a pre-existing ad so advertisers will need to create a new ad with its own keywords and bids.

We recommend creating a new campaign for your Image Search ads. This will allow you to create relevant ad groups based on the images and keywords related to the images as well as creating highly targeted ad copy. It will also make it easier for you to track the performance of this new ad type and make the appropriate bid adjustments.

Getting Started

To get started you will want to create your new campaign. Once you are in your ad group you will want to select “Search – Specialized” from the “New Ad” drop down menu. From there you will want to select the Image Search Ad option.

The Blank Template

After you have selected the Image Search Ad option you will then be taken to a blank template. Here you will be able to create the ad text as well as upload your image. Google requires that advertisers must have access to the images for online advertising. The image and ad copy must also be family safe. Finally at this time, animated images are not allowed.

You will also want to be sure that the images for your ads are 180×180 or less.

Once you have completed all of the above steps you will be able to see a preview of your ad and make any necessary tweaks before saving it.

Another tip that Exclusive Concepts suggests is to try and have the image used in the ad be present on the landing page of the ad. This will allow users to see a larger version of the image and should help increase relevancy and decrease bounce rate.


Once the ad and keywords are ready your new Image Search Ads will begin showing in the Google Image results pages. Once you begin to see performance data you will want to be sure to adjust bids and test ad copy as you would normally do with a normal AdWords search campaign.

As always, you will want to make sure that this new ad type is a good fit for your business through testing as well as looking at the return that they generate for your account.

That’s going to wrap up today’s PPC Tuesday where we took a first look at the new Image Search Ads within Google AdWords.

Thanks and have a great day!