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Google Announces Shopping Ads to Appear in Images

26th of March 2019
google ads

On the 8th March, Google announced it is now trialling its shopping ads in Google Images. Following the likes of Instagram and Pinterest, Google wants to target people looking for inspiration, with 50% of online shoppers saying images of the product inspired them to purchase. People are turning to Google Images at an increasing rate.

The shoppable ads mean you can now add tags to products within the image. These tags can show the price and brand name of the displayed product, or of multiple products shown in a single image. Tapping a product offers information which then gives the user the chance to make the purchase. A simple, efficient method of online shopping that is sure to take off further in the very near future.

Google’s Vice President of Product Management & Shopping, Surojit Chatterjee, explained how this new feature would work:

“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. We’ll continue to roll this out to more categories across more retailers over the next few months.”

This announcement comes after Pinterest and Instagram took similar steps in using their platform to allow advertisers to tag products in images, allowing users to purchase the product. With 62% of millennials desiring the ability to do visual searches over any other new technology, this move from Google isn’t a surprising one. More and more users are using Google Images for inspiration and ideas. As stated by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, “The future of search will be about pictures rather than keywords.”

This change is automatic, so you won’t need to do anything from your end. Shopping ads will start to appear in Google Images, and it seems as though this is a mandatory option by Google as there is no option to exclude this. Considering how useful the feature is likely to prove, why would you want to?

Google Showcase shopping ads have also been a success for many retailers out there. With 17 countries currently running these ads right now, they are seeing great results from the new format. Now, Google has announced Showcase Shopping ads to Google Images which Surojit hopes will offer “shoppers a more inspirational and rich visual experience.”

Google is also expanding its Merchant Center as a platform beyond advertising on surfaces across Google. They have now announced that “retailers can provide product data to Google, free of charge, so that we can start showing more of your product information to potential shoppers.”

Finally, Surojit Chatterjee had this to say about the new Shopping Ads/Google Images feature:

“Today’s consumers are interacting with us across a multitude of touchpoints, searching and asking for ideas. To help inspire them, we’re continually thinking of ways to create better shopping experiences. And, we want to continue partnering with retailers like you so we can help consumers in these moments that will drive them to the final purchase.”


Here you can also read the email Google sent out to advertisers regarding the new feature:


Google Images is now a part of the Search Network for Shopping ads.



Google Images is a visually rich surface and a key part of millions of users’ shopping journeys every day. Users frequently turn to Google Images for idea exploration, how-to guidance, product discovery and visual imagery related to key shopping categories like fashion, home and beauty.

We are excited to announce that we will be integrating Google Images into our core Search Network in late March. This means Shopping ads, that you are already familiar with, will now automatically be eligible* to appear in Google Images results when users are searching for relevant keywords.

What this means for your Shopping campaigns:

All of your Shopping ads will be automatically eligible* to serve on Google Images. You will no longer have to opt into the Search Partner Network to show Shopping ads on Google Images.

*For Europe only: if you are unsure what surfaces your ads show on, please check with your CSS.

If your campaigns currently run on the Search Partner Network – you may see a decrease in traffic coming in from Search Partner Network and an increase in traffic coming from the Search Network. This is because Google Images was previously a part of the Search Partner Network. Note: Historical Google Images traffic will not be re-categorized from the Search Partner Network to Search Network.

If your campaigns are not currently opted into the Search Partner Network – your ads will start showing on Google Images and as a result, there may be a 3-10% increase in traffic at lower cost-per-click and comparable conversion rates.


The Google Ads Team.


Google Showcase Ads.

In short, it is an exciting time to be an online retailer. The ways in which you can get your product in front of an audience are increasing all the time and becoming more intelligent as the years go by.

Similarly, if you are a customer, Google is helping you to make those all-important purchase decisions more than ever before. With the landscape shifting all the time, be sure to keep an eye out for even more developments in the near future.

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