Anyone trying to put ads on Google now has a leg up on the competition. After all, when you’re buying something, “sight unseen” is generally not going to grab your attention so much. Now, Google search ads can give sellers the benefit of a picture.

Google AdWords now has image extensions on their ads. This extension is very new and is still in beta, but Google intends this service to continue expanding in scope. The searches will pull up images more often when the searcher’s intent seems more conducive to images. For example, a search for a specific aspect of cars is more likely to yield a result than a search for local used car lots.


Why Images?

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An image like this is more likely to get noticed than words on a page. And it instantly lets you imagine spending an evening on a beach like this. No wonder images are attractive.

Honestly, the reason is simple. Images catch people’s eye, and grab their imagination. There’s only so much description you can do in an ad, and “Trip to Hawaii” might not elicit the same response as a picture. In general, people find it much easier to skim over and ignore text, particularly when they know it’s an ad, than they do a picture.


What Will Image Ads Affect?

Image ads will likely make the first ads more profitable; which is, after all, the point of paid ads.  It’s also possible that such ads will drive traffic away from organic search results, which could mean trouble for some.

However, it’s still a bit early to tell.  There’s low traffic to the image ad websites.  This is due partly to the fact that there aren’t many such results for searches yet, as the AdWords Images are still in beta.  However, we may eventually find the old adage true; a picture really is worth a thousand words.