Google Image Search Meeting Image Ads

    May 8, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Display advertising, where Google does not shine as brightly as it does in search ads, could be coming to the image searching side of the site.

Google may not plan to have ads on its signature home page, but everything else appears to be fair game.

Marissa Mayer told Bloomberg Radio that Google thinks matching graphical-display ads with image searches "represents a large opportunity, and there’s lot of potential for advertising revenue there."

"We haven’t found a proper way to monetize image search to date," Mayer said in the report. "You may see us roll out an ads-image search in the future, but when we do you’ll know that’s because we found a way that ultimately enhances user happiness with the product."

We’re not certain how happy ads will make people who are only looking for the latest celebrity photos in image search, though we see an obvious tie-in for media companies and their top-tier commercial backers with image search display advertising.

Sponsors of the new Indiana Jones movie coming out on May 22nd, for example, would want placement in image search as people look for photos of Harrison Ford and his co-stars. The interest the summer blockbuster season could generate offers a solid motivation for Google to do their display ads sooner rather than later, though we don’t really expect to see them very soon.

However, flagging text ad clicks may push Google to move faster on display ads against their image search. They don’t want to wait until clicks become completely flat before starting such an initiative.