Google currently displays no ads, text or otherwise, in its search results after users were turned off at the idea, something that Google estimates costs it $200 million a year in revenue. Since acquiring DoubleClick in March however Google has the technology and wherewithal to move forward on smartly integrating visual ads into image search results.
Google AdSense does display image advertisements on third party sites, but what the company is proposing now is a much bigger initiative that will see image advertisements on Google’s own properties, as well as more advanced ones on AdSense.
“We haven’t found a proper way to monetize image search to date,” said Google VP Marissa Mayer, who oversees search products, in an interview with Bloomberg. “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.”
Google could net anywhere from $1 - $2 billion a year in revenue, according to some industry analysts, if it integrates visual ads into its own search results. With Google’s stock price falling the company needs to roll out this new kind of a money-generating service, rather than yet another “We’ll figure out how to make money on it later” type product the company is famous for.
The company has trialled some mock-ups of how to display the ads to users, but hasn’t tried them out on anyone yet. Expect the company to move quickly on this one.