Google Image Searches to Now Return Shopping Ads in Results


With more and more consumers becoming increasingly comfortable with the world of online shopping, it seems like a natural progression for Google to maximise on this. In response to this ever growing market Google has announced just ahead of its annual I/O developer conference, it has launched its own visual shopping ads, which encompass the user’s image search.

You may have noticed as you do a search within Google Images that these shopping ads have gradually started to creep into the search results. What this means is that user browsing through the image search results will now also be greeted with shopping ads related directly to the search they carried out.

The new feature announced instantly drew my mind to the functionalities of the Pinterest social media platform – and whether this is Google’s own take on creating a visual discovery platform; matching user inspiration searches up to websites/ companies that may be able to fulfil these.

When will the ads be widely available?

Although the feature has been in its testing phase for quite some time now Google has announced that the full launch will happen on this coming Monday – so keep this in your diary so you can note any changes you may see to impressions, clicks, CTR’s and conversion data.

How will the ads appear?

The ads will appear at the top of the search results page above the organic listings, just as they do in a standard web search – for mobile searches these will continue to appear in a carousel format.

image shopping


Google has also introduced some new filter buttons which will work in conjunction with the ads, enabling the user to narrow down on what they are looking for. This feature may be one of the saving graces in terms of qualifying the customer for purchase.

What may this mean for CTR & Conversions?

Typically someone searching within images is looking for inspiration and is not in the mind frame of making a purchase there and then; however with the ever increasing use of Pinterest and Instagram and this new move from Google this landscape could soon be shifting.

As the users shopping behaviour adapts it is ever more important that you are aware of these changes to their shopping behaviour, and this could be about capturing this customer at the beginning of the shopping funnel.

And with Google saying that ‘people that search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most’, this could be the early signs of this shift in behaviour.

What the feature will allow, is to answer some of the user’s questions before they even reach the site – such as what is the product price? It also bridges the gap between a user finding this brilliant inspiration but then having to go back to the drawing board in search of where to find the product – with this new launch the user can see the options for purchase there and then and click straight through to the retailer’s site.

How do I get my ads to appear here?

In order for your ads to be eligible to show in the image search results you must first be opted into the Google Search Network. If opted in your ads will automatically start appearing, so be aware of this when the full roll out happens on Monday.


Overall I believe this is an exciting new feature for Google shopping which will add another dimension to capturing the customer in their buying process.

If you’re looking to get set up with Google shopping ads, or need help with your existing Paid Search campaigns get in touch on 0116 298 7496 and see how we can work together to drive results.



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