google adwords digital marketing

Social Sprint: Google Image Search Adds Shopping Ads

The latest social media news in fewer than 400 words. The Social Sprint.

In a long-rumoured move, Google have added adverts to their image search platform.

What’ve Google done, then?

Well, ahead of their I/O conference, Google announced that they’d be adding adverts to their image searches – however, this update only applies to those who are using the Shopping aspect of the Adwords platform. So from now on, if you’re searching for pictures of football boots, tailored shirts or – as illustrated below – necklaces, you’ll be shown adverts by people who are looking to sell these items. If you’re an advertiser, you’ll now be picking up impressions/clicks from people image searching – so you may need to alter your PPC strategy to suit.


Why have Google done this? Surely Adwords is successful enough?

Some have argued that the company are playing catch-up with consumers who are explicitly looking to make a purchase – some polls have indicated that people are more likely to head straight to Amazon if they’re looking to make a purchase. This could be one move as part of a wider strategy to make Google a consumer destination, rather than… well, everything else that it is today.

Adwords has always been noted for being proactive (compared to Bing and Yahoo ad platforms, both of which lead a lot to be desired). As they did with their call only adverts in 2015, the company have filled a potential niche before the wider community have cried out for it – creating somewhat of a vacuum, knowing that there will be advertisers there to fill it.

You could argue that there are very few people who would head to Google Image Search to make a purchase. People generally use the service to research, or to find very specific imagery. To that end, it makes sense that Google are taking the first steps towards monetising one of the few parts of their business that was still purely organic.


What does it mean for the future?

One thing that Adwords customers have been certain of in the past is that there are no certainties on Google’s PPC platform. If it needed any more confirmation, it looks as though the company will continue crafting their advertising offerings to suit each of the major niches who use them – something which likely lead to even higher bidding on those money keywords, and a better bottom line for Google. As ever.

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