Google, never content to rest on their laurels, is going back to AdWords to give it another boost. This time they’re trying to spruce up the ads themselves with the introduction of images into their paid results. When it comes to advertising, images are always a huge boon, so this is sure to have an affect on SEM and SEO moving forwards.
We should start by saying the program isn’t live yet, they are just now starting the beta testing. If you want a preview of what they’ll look like, here’s a shot courtesy of SEW.
Currently, about 1 in 6 searches done on Google return some kind of visual result. This can be anything from an image to a YouTube video. Historically, this has put paid ads at a disadvantage because they had no associated images and searchers often make decisions based solely on the images coupled with the results. This is especially true for people shopping online, a demographic aggressively coveted by anyone paying for ads.
Once the program is live, it looks like you won’t have a say in when pictures are displayed with your ads. Google will use it’s algorithm to determine which searches users want to see pictures for, such as shopping for specific products, looking at hotels, or looking up an individual.
There’s still a lot we don’t know, but if you’re interested in finding out more you can fill out this form to request an invite.