This week a new Google Adwords Ad Extension went into beta status. The new AdWords ‘Image Extensions‘ allow advertisers to submit up to 5 images within their adgroup, giving consumers a preview of the product or service the landing page deals with. This might apply to tangible products like shoes or electronics as well as for venues like restaurants, hotels or apartments as long as the ad is in the top position.
The ad format, which obviously is in a ‘limited beta’ was first shared by Tally Keller, who works as a PPC advisor for DELL:
— Tally Keller (@tallykeller) April 11, 2013
Key implications of the new AdWords Image Extensions:
Guess what? Ads with Image Extensions will benefit from a significant increase in CTR (click-through-rate). No big surprise here, and you will hear it very soon from your Google Adwords representative telling you that you might like to include those images for a better CTR, hence Quality Score.
What they wont tell you: Often it will only appear for your own brand, trademark or product just like the Enhanced Site Links Google rolled out a year ago, meaning more paid clicks for traffic you might have gotten anyway?
Winner takes it all fashion
As the images are exclusively granted to the top position – advertisers will spend crazy to get there. This will intensify the bidding spree of advertisers and thereby increase Google’s CPM, hence revenue per query.
You’ll not only want to be in the top position to get the extra CTR – most importantly you might want to make sure you’ll not be one of the other ads losing CTR and quality score due to the nice ad gallery above them. Overall ad spendings will increase not only due to more competition for the top position, but also because of even more clicks on ads…
Less attention on organic
While being the 2nd or 3rd paid listing above the fold already feels like you lost some real estate to the new Image Ads, starving among the organic listing (again) sucks a bit more from now on.
Although paid results already get 2 out of 3 clicks on the result page, that does not mean there’s a limit to Google’s efforts to maximise its revenues per query. By attracting consumers eyes even more to the (image) ads, the 10 organic listings determined by Google’s sophisticated search algorithm just got a bit more uninteresting, though they still reflect the most relevant answers to the user’s query.
Personally I’m really curious how Google will handle applications from businesses that are ‘offering a search experience’. More precisely I doubt that Google will allow – let’s say – price comparison websites to link to a landing page using the 5 top-selling products as Image Ads. Hope Google will prove me wrong here…
What do you expect from the new Image Ad Extensions? How can you benefit? Which industries will be hit the most?
Another example how image ads look like: