Google has now officially rolled out product listings ads in image search to make it easier for users to find the products and services they want to buy in SERPs. The launch was announced alongside several other additions that aim to make search more useful for shoppers on smartphones.
Ads in Google image search were first noticed late last year, but they are only just getting an official launch. On mobile, the ads will now feature in a scrollable carousel format in a section above organic images. The new feature is part of Google’s Search Network, so PLAs will automatically show if marketers have their Shopping campaigns opted in to Search partners.
“Whether they’re looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most,” Vice President for Google Shopping Product Management, Jonathan Alferness, said in a blog post. “And it turns out, the top questions Google Images users ask us are ‘What’s the price of this?’ and ‘Where can I buy it?’”
This launch means that ads for related products will show up as people are browsing Google Images. They will then be able to click through to a web page and buy the product. Google claims that brands such as Swarovski are excited about the potential of the new visual format, as it will enable them to “engage shoppers and inspire them to desire our brand as they’re browsing and discovering products.”
Shopping ads are just one of the ways that Google is making it easier for brands and retailers to be present and useful when people are on their mobiles. Retailers will also be able to include a “store pickup” link when using local inventory ads (LIA). This option will appear on the landing page hosted by Google and will enable shoppers to buy online and collect at a store.
Advertisers running local ads can now also allow users to check whether the items they want are in stock in local stores. Users can do this by navigating to the “Search items at this store” link, located in the Knowledge Panel. Finally, Google has revealed that its “Purchases on Google” buy button has been particularly effective for brands such as Staples, UGG and Ralph Lauren.