Google Secretly Rolling out NEW Image Extensions to Search Ads

July 22, 2021

2021 Update: Google Ads image extensions are now available to all advertisers! Check out our Easy Guide to Google Ads Image Extensions.


Google’s ad extensions take many forms to let users chose their own way to convert from your ads. Over the years, Google’s supplemented its text ads with varied ad extensions offering additional sitelinks, addresses, phone numbers, text numbers, app deeplinks, and recently forms to help a user convert online. But as varied as Google’s ad extensions are—they’re all mostly just text next to a text ad on the Google SERP—until recently.

Recently, Google’s been sneaking into the ability to enable image extensions, allowing advertisers to display relevant images alongside their search ads!

Google image ad extensions

This isn’t Google’s first foray into adding images to their search ads. In 2013, they briefly attempted adding image extensions in their search ads. In 2016, Google attempted adding images to visual sitelinks. At Google Marketing Live 2019, Google announced a new search ad format—Gallery ads, which prominently feature images on the SERP.

Microsoft Advertising also offers image extensions and a number of similar ad extensions on the Bing search results page.

What are Google image extensions?

Google image extensions will show alongside your search ads, allowing you to attract more customers. In addition to enhancing your text ads with a fresh image from your landing page, image extensions can also help to improve ad quality and potentially quality score. Ads with a higher Quality Score both perform better on Google and cost less per click.

Unlike many other common ad extensions, Google’s image ad extensions are dynamic ad extensions, meaning that advertisers won’t be able to directly control the content of their image ad extensions. Rather than directly uploading an image to Google to create an image extension, Google will pull images from the ad’s landing page to display alongside your text ads.

How do you create Google image extensions?

Google has yet to announce these new image extensions but are silently rolling them out to some advertisers. If you do not have access to them yet, don’t worry—you’ll see them soon!

Creating image extensions in Google Ads is simple. First, dive into a search campaign within Google Ads. From there, visit the “Ads and Extensions” tab on the left handrail. Then, click on the “Extensions” tab on the top bar. If your account has access image extensions, you’ll see the option to turn on image extensions prominently displayed:

Google image ad extensions create screen

Google’s image extensions will pull images from your landing page, so by turning them on within your Google Ads account, you need to verify that you either own or have the legal permission to share the images on your landing page with Google for advertising purposes.

Google image extensions create screen for dynamic extensions

Google’s newest image ad extensions are a crafty way to add a little excitement to any drab text ad. As they roll out to more advertisers, be sure to add these image extensions to your Google Ads accounts and monitor their performance to see all the new customers they bring to your site!

Mark Irvine

Mark Irvine

Mark is a PPC expert, influencer, and international speaker, named the #1 Most Influential PPC Expert of 2019 by PPC Hero. He was previously the Director of Strategic Partnerships at WordStream and is currently the Director of Paid Media at SearchLab.