Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has become a search-engine empire, an advertising empire and a smartphone operating system empire, with a firm control of the market in all three areas – though admittedly, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is gaining ground on the second point and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has cut into the Android advantage on the third point. and when you have that kind of control, you can just about dictate all the rules to those who want to work with you to make themselves some money.
One of the mandates Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has thrust upon advertisers has been that if an advertiser what to have a Sponsored Search Result at the top of a search page for a particular inquiry, the ad had to look consistent with the rest of the page – namely, text-only. But as Google Search has evolved in the last few months, those regular search results are now showing images next to the relevant snippet of text and just under the headline and link to the search result itself.
Well now, Google has decided to let its Sponsored Search Results feature evolve as well, as the company announced in the blog post this week that it will now start accepting images with Sponsored Search Results – provided the images are relevant to a search inquiry or the terms or keywords of a search inquiry.
In the blog post, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) wrote, “Image extensions allow you to more accurately convey the body style of a car, the cut of a pair of jeans, or a particular shade of eyeshadow, making your ads richer and more informative so they stand out in a crowded marketplace.” Google went on to note that about one in every six Google Search results have images displayed next to them. And Google is counting on images to help improve click-through rates for the ads, which of course means more potential sales for the client and more revenue to Google.
This would be in line with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) adding to its AdWords extension, which has allowed companies to add links to their search ads – and those have shown that click-through rates increase.
What are your thoughts about seeing images alongside Sponsored Search Results on Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)? Do you think it will cause more confusion as to what a legitimate result is and what an ad looks like? At the same time, do you think images will help the user-engagement rate for these ads? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.