Not ad creep: Images labeled ‘Product’ in Google Images part of new badges markup

The "Product" badges have the look of an ad, but are powered by rich markup schema.

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This article has been updated with corrections.

Users searching for products on Google Image search will now notice that sometimes images appearing at the top of the results are labeled with a “Product”. This is part of the new badge markup Google introduced earlier this week. They look a lot like ads, and I mistook these for ads, too, when first reporting on this.

The images appear with a tag icon and “Product” label in the bottom left corner at the top of the organic image results. You can see them in this tweet from Jonathan Ellins, head of insights at Hallam Internet Ltd. who noticed them Thursday, and is also appearing in the US. Note that the Shopping ad carousel does not appear on Image results in the UK at this time as it does in the US.

Here’s what that result looks like in the US with the Shopping ad carousel above the listings.

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Site owners can apply rich markup schema to their pages to show badges for products, recipes, videos and GIFs.

Google officially introduced the carousel of ads to Image search in March 2016. For advertising purposes, Google categorizes Image search as a search partner, so Shopping campaigns must be opted-in to search partners in order to appear in Image results.

Earlier today, we reported on a new look Google is testing for Shopping ads in product card units on mobile.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was Third Door Media’s former Editor-in-Chief (October 2018 to December 2020), running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, MarTech and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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