Today, Google has announced the official beta for Image Extensions in AdWords. The image extension has been spotted here and there in the wild over the past couple of months. It allows AdWords advertisers to display relevant images with text ads. Google will certainly be experimenting with the visual display, but here is a current example.
Google says that one in six searches on Google provides results with visual content. Now, text ads will have the flexibility to reflect the growing importance of image content across the Web. Until now, product image ads were the only way to include image content in AdWords ads, and those were limited to product results. The new extension opens up image options for a much wider range of advertisers.
At this point, it is not known how many ads will be able to display image results for the same search result or if there will be overlap with product listing ad results. You can see from the example above, though, that the extension can be combined with sitelinks and potentially, other extensions.
Image extensions will be more likely to trigger when Google determines a searcher’s intent is to find visual content. As an example, a search for “luxury car designs” is more apt to show image extensions than a query for “local car dealerships.”
Advertisers choose the images they want to include and submit them for review. It goes without saying, but you need to have the rights to the images you submit.
Interested in participating in the beta? Fill out this form to apply or contact your AdWords rep.