Google Images

As evident by visual feeds like Instagram and Snapchat, images are increasingly used to advertise and directly sell products to users. Google Images is now adding a new shopping ad that lets brands overlay labels and price tags on sponsored picture results.

With sponsored ads in Google Images, advertisers can already target shoppers. The new shoppable ad format will allow brands to directly annotate their images with product names and price tags.

A floating label next to the product will feature the name, price, and other qualifiers, like “Free shopping” or “On sale.” Multiple items can be marked up within a sponsored image, while users can tap a blue tag icon in the bottom-right corner to hide the details and view the complete image.

Google is currently testing this new type of add “on a small percentage of traffic with select retailers.” It is limited to queries for “home office ideas”, “shower tile designs”, or “abstract art”. More categories across other retailers will be available in the upcoming months.

Let’s say a shopper is searching for home office ideas on her mobile device or desktop and goes to Google Images to explore ideas around how to organize her room. She can scroll through the images, hover over any sponsored ad with the price tag, and see the items for sale in the image — along with prices, the brand, and more.

Google is also bringing Showcase Shopping ads to Image Search. This format presents itself as a carousel at the top of the results page for certain phrases, and includes “beautiful imagery, descriptions, and relevant promotions.”

During the 20th anniversary of Search last September, the company highlighted the shift from text to visual content, like AMP stories. According to Google, half of online shoppers look for and are then inspired by images when making a purchase. On mobile, Image Search already features Google Lens to help users find similar items in a scanned picture.

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: