Talking tech since 2003

Marketing and advertising is all about finding unique ways to reach your target audience. Even if you have an amazing and revolutionary product, it is very difficult to sell it if no one knows about it. With the influx of Internet users in the last ten years, many companies have been cutting back on PR altogether dumping traditional advertising such as newspapers, magazines, and radio, and have been moving towards advertising on the Internet. This is because Internet advertising gives advertisers “more bang for their buck” in the sense that their ads are targeted more dynamically towards people who would be interested in purchasing their products, apposed to advertising in a newspaper where one’s ad is seen by a wide range of people; many of whom are not interested in the product being offered.

With millions of users on a daily basis, Internet giant Google has always been one of the de facto sites for companies to advertise their products and services on. With some companies paying upwards of five dollars per sponsored click on Google’s search service, it is obvious that many companies see Google as a worth-while advertising partner.

However, one aspect of Google’s advertising system has always been somewhat lacking. While text-based advertisements were sufficient for standard web queries, the same text-based ads have simply been sub-standard on Google Images. This being, when someone is searching for a photo on Google Images, they are looking for a visual image; not text that they have to read. Because of this, advertising on Google’s image search service has been somewhat pointless, as the likelihood of someone actually paying attention to a chunk of text as apposed to brightly colored images was slim.

However, at an event today, Google released Google Image Search Ads; a service that allows companies to spruce up their plain and boring text advertisements on Google Images with a relevant thumbnails of a product next to the standard text-based ad. Marissa Mayer, the vice president of search product and user experience at Google, says that these new image ads will be clearly defined as sponsored results, and that they will not change any other aspect of the image search experience, including the search results themselves.

Personally, I think that Google Image Search Ads is a win-win for both advertisers and their targeted audiences alike. Having said this, a visual representation of a product is likely going to compel an end-user to visit the advertiser’s site and potentially purchase said product, ultimately saving a great deal of time for the end-user, who will spend less time searching for said product. At the same time, having a visual representation of what a site sells will more than likely draw users away from non-relevant sponsored ads, meaning that the advertiser will not find themselves paying for clicks that did not have the potential to generate business.

While I feel that this new method of advertising has the potential to be highly successful for image searches, it is definitely something that I hope Google decides to keep exclusive to image searches, and does not introduces to regular web searches as well. Doing so would ultimately make web searches more cluttered, and would ultimately destroy the minimalistic aspect of Google that makes it so unique.

Below is a screenshot of sponsored results on Google Images without thumbnails:

The following are screenshots of the new and improved ads on Google Images, sporting the new thumbnails:

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