By: Adam Stone

Paid search and display ads had a baby, and they named it Google Gallery Ads for Search 

Google has stayed true to text ads—until now.

This past May, Octane Marketing was at Google Marketing Live in San Francisco when Google unveiled a slew of new ad products and innovations. Gallery Ads was on the top of that list; a visual format that the tech giant has been testing for months and intends to roll out later this year. Gallery Ads will be the first publicly released Google paid search ad that includes a visual element. For car dealerships, think more detailed images of vehicle exteriors and interiors.

What are Google Gallery Ads?

Gallery Ads are a mix of text-based search advertising and display advertising all in one. They are characterized by prominently featuring four to eight swipeable images, 70 character descriptions, and up to three headlines. Users can click on an image to expand the gallery and explore the photos in a larger, vertical format. If these sound familiar – you’ve probably seen something similar. Google is essentially taking a page out of the Facebook and Instagram ad playbook with Gallery Ads for Search.

The final in the series of images prompts users to visit the advertiser’s website. Advertisers are eager to see if the CTR on Gallery Ads suffer compared to traditional paid search ads. The concern is that Gallery Ads may do their job too well, and people may feel like they’ve gotten enough from the various images and never end up on the actual site. It’s like watching a movie trailer and never bothering to see the movie because you already understand the plot.

How are Gallery Ads priced and what we can learn from Google’s pricing strategy?

Gallery Ads are priced differently than a standard text ad. Google will charge if someone swipes through three images or more before they’ve clicked on to the actual site, or charge when they click on the headline and go on the site. This pricing model suggests that in Google’s early testing they have seen users engaging with the ad, but not clicking through. Under their existing pure CPC model, that would lead to a big loss in revenue, hence the addition of paying for image swipes.

Stay tuned dealerships: we will let you know when Google Gallery Ads rolls out and whether they are worth your investment.