Are Images Coming to Text Ad?

20th December 2017

2017 has been a busy year for PPC marketing professionals.  But as the year draws to a close, Google is continuing to tinker with Adwords.  The latest trial to emerge onto the PPC landscape could point to massive change ahead.

Canadian users of Google have recently begun to notice a series of tests taking place on mobile platforms – and it’s something we have never seen before. Text ads for a number of car dealerships in the “Great White North” have seen to feature images.


Text ads with images seen in Canada

The feature was reported by Sergey Alakov. It was first noted during a search for used cars that Sergey made using his phone. Little is known about the exact functionality of the ads or exactly how the image is being selected and what criteria are in use, but the image seen next to the ad appeared to be the same as on the landing page.  It is likely, therefore, that the image is being pulled through from that source.

Alakov is based in Toronto, Canada. Authoritative sources have not been able to replicate the search result since it appeared over the weekend of the 16th and 17th December. It’s not clear how widespread the test is or what verticals are included besides vehicle retail.  However, it seems reasonable that the automotive industry is involved given previous experiments such as large format mobile ads with a carousel of images.


Google spokesperson on text ads with images

A Google spokesperson told the Search Engine Land website, “We’re always testing new ways to improve our experience for our advertisers and users, but don’t have anything specific to announce right now.”

Whilst Google has experimented with images in search ads before, it has normally been very distinct from the text element. This appearance in text ads seems to be a new departure, being embedded within the text rather than in site links or a separate carousel.