If you run a business online, then chances are that you have bought a Google ad. Google's ads are the most popular marketing channel on the internet, and the search giant's sponsored links in search results are certainly the highest-profile response advertising on the Web. And that's despite the fact that the ads are extremely simple: a limited amount of text, though they do feature some pretty sophisticated targeting capabilities.
But yesterday, they got a little more complex. Google announced that these ads would now include images. Ads with images would be limited to searches that are likely to return images in the search results (more than 16 percent of searches), so your ad won't ever be the only result with an image.
This is great news for advertisers, because images make ads much more effective. In part that's just because a picture is worth a thousand words and you can communicate a lot about your product very quickly through an image. But images also draw the eye and engage emotions. Perhaps most importantly, a consumer can notice text without reading it, but it's much harder not to register the contents of a clear picture.