Google planning ads in image search results?

Google considers ways to earn revenue from image search. Up until now, image search results have been free from any advertising. No doubt Google shareholders will be happy, but will the user experience suffer?

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Google is planning to introduce display advertising into its image search results, as the search engine giant looks at finding more ways to monetise it search results.

Until now Google Image Search has been free of any kind of advertising. The company did experiment with the addition of some text ads in image results back in 2006, but abandoned the plan after negative user feedback.

Google calculated then that it is losing an estimated $200m annually by not having text ads in these results pages, and now it may look for a way to recoup this lost income.

According to Marissa Meyer from Google:
“We haven’t found a proper way to monetize image search to date. 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.”

Meyer believes that display ads, rather than text, will be more relevant in the context of image search.

Moreover, since the acquisition of DoubleClick, Google now has the technology to integrate visual display ads into image search results.

Some analysts believe that the search engine could make upwards of $1bn in annual revenue from these display ads.

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