Image Extensions – a new addition to Search campaigns

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The Introduction

The future of advertising, just like social media, is going more and more in a visual direction. Although we are used to changes and improvements in the Google ads interface, so far, they have kept the text next to the text and the images next to the images. Now is the time for Google to take a bold step in a new direction. After the initial announcements and beta testing, Image Extensions came to life in addition to the Search campaigns.

We’ve already written quite a bit about Google advertising, but this is somewhat of a novelty when it comes to Google ads.

google address on the wall

Image extensions in Search Ads

Image extensions allow you to display a single image to the right of a classic search ad. This makes a plain text ad more eye-catching and easier to stand out in the crowd. They’re a great way to get users’ attention as they wade through a mass of text in search of what they’re looking for. The biggest benefit of the Image extension will be to those who offer a concrete product. Why? Well, because now the product they are selling becomes immediately visible to the user.

Currently, two versions of image extensions are enabled. Upload pre-prepared images or a dynamic option that allows Google to download images from the website itself and use them to publish in extension.
While the second option is simpler and allows you to display images in both mobile and desktop versions of ads, the first is better because we manually select which images we want to display with which ads. On the other hand, its disadvantage is that images are limited to mobile views and only in the top position.

A few advice on using image extensions

Just as we give Google more than one ad per ad group and let it learn, optimize, and ultimately show the ad with the best performance, it is advisable to give it more than one image in the extension. Google’s recommendation is a minimum of 3 images. Also, images for image extensions are recommended to be placed in both available dimensions.

In addition to the text ad, and like any other extension, the image extension is clickable. Clicking on it is like clicking on the ad itself. Google charges the same CPC and leads to the ad’s landing page. This is a positive thing because otherwise, it would probably confuse potential users more than help attract them.

woman searching something on Google

Basic image extension requirements

The extension, like everything else, comes with some limitations.
As this is a small thumbnail next to the ad itself, and most searches nowadays take place on mobile devices, it is definitely recommended that the images be simple, without a background, and clearly show the product on offer.

Although it would be ideal if the image were immediately in the recommended format, it is possible to upload an image of other dimensions and subsequently cut it in the required proportions.
Image extensions come in two sizes:

  •  landscape (1.91: 1) with a recommended dimension of 1200 x 628 or at least a minimum of 600 x 314
  •  square (1: 1) with a recommended dimension of 1200 x 1200 or at least a minimum of 300 x 300

In addition to the images’ dimensions, there are also requirements that the image must meet. Google wants only the best. So, image quality is paramount. Blurry and poor quality images will not be accepted as an option for extension. Also, the logo and text on the image itself are not allowed. All the text we want to show the user can be placed in the ad, while the photo must be left without text.

Images go through the review process just like ads. And, if they don’t fit into Google Ads policies, the ads will be Disapproved and will not be displayed.

Searching on Google in Caffe


Considering all this, we can expect that advertising will be more visually oriented in the future. That is what the market is looking for and to which users respond best.
Although we are only a step away from the strict test phase, it is important to follow the step with developments and innovations because little things like this can potentially make a big difference and offer a big advantage to one advertiser over another.