Google To Place Ads With Images

    May 19, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Google is experimenting with display ads to be placed alongside Google Image results, the company announced today via webcast.

"What we’re announcing today is a new suite of image-related experiments. We’re pairing images with images for the first time–display ads with image search," said Google’s search product management director R.J. Pittman.

Pittman relayed the difficulty of contextually matching ads with images. With potentially trillions of images on the net, each with their own varied descriptions (or no description), sorting them is "a challenge."

Pittman, whose previous life included founding "web2.0 search company" Groxis, said "it should be within Google’s grasp" to improve the image search interface and hinted at retooling Google’s current image search by making it more people-like in its method than machine-like.

Google is working on more powerful facial recognition, for example, soon to be available via advance search options. Geolocation data is another area Google is working on to improve the process of recognizing an image and making them easier to find, which makes the approach seem much like Tim Berners-Lee’s semantic web idea.

Pittman said people are using image search beyond just "pretty pictures." They’re using it for recipes, travel destinations and gifts, as examples. This is leading to a better connection between image search and e-commerce, as well as a better experience for visitors and advertisers, he said.   

 David Utter contributed to this article.