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Google AdWords Ads Appearing in Google Image Search

Pay Per Click January 27th, 2009



During a recent Google Image Search, I noticed something I don’t recall seeing before. I saw AdWords ads displaying along the top of the first row of images in Google Image Search.

Here’s an example:

I searched for topics discussing this change, and a number seem to think the ads are being served up permanently after recent testing by Google.  The ads, however, only seem to be appearing for search terms that infer a buying/shopping/selling situation. In the image above, I used the phrase ‘Family Guy stuff’. Google looks to have interpreted my search as a potential buying situation, as I was looking for ‘stuff’.

If I do a simple search for ‘Family Guy’ without the added keyword ‘stuff’, the ads no longer appear. This is most likely because Google did not interpret that search as a shopping or buying situation. Rather, I’m looking for images about the TV show in general.

Here’s the result:


As Matthew Elshaw of SearchNewz points out, AdWords users currently have no way of opting out of showing their ads in Google Image Search results. The option should be there, as Image Search users tend to want images, not full pages, sales pitches, or general text information. Click through ads on GIS pages run the risk of being of lower quality and could prove a waste of money.

Not allowing users to opt out could anger more than a few AdWords users.

Post By Matt (47 Posts)

Website: →


A PPC extraordinaire, Mr Hogan can be found deep in the anals of PPC admins everywhere. Researching, administering and writing. Sometimes he even finds the time to contact the outside world with a blog or two.

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Google AdWords Ads Appearing in Google Image Search

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