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The Google Image Trick

written by John Chow on April 21, 2006

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I’m sure by now many of you have heard of the Google image trick. If not, then you’re in for a treat. The Google image trick is where you place an image next to a Google ad to help give it some attention. The first time I read about it was on a thread at Digital Point. I tried searching for the thread but no luck. Maybe one of you can find it for me.

Anyway you can see an example of this trick at The Purse Blog (really good blog BTW). The pictures of the purses lines up with the four Google ads below it. The result is higher click rate than without images. Google is aware of this practice and while it’s not against the TOS, it is in a gray area with the “attracting undue attention” part. What I want to show is how creative some webmasters have become with the Google image trick. Maybe you can use some of these ideas on your site.

Search Engine College. I love this one. The kid is putting his ruler at the Google ad. It’s sheer genius! They also place three small images next to their 250 Google box at the bottom.

Big Bruin. This is a tech site belonging to a friend of mine. He never made much from Google until I helped him out with it. Now Google is one of his biggest money makers. The idea was to place an image of the item being reviewed next to the inline Google ad. This worked out really well because we were not using random images, but instead, the actual item being written about.

Draw a Pig. This was the site featured in the Digital Point thread that I can’t find. In the thread, the webmaster used 4 pigs. Now I see he has way more. According to the owner of the site, click rates increased 400% with the addition of the images.

Tutorial Pod. This site is really pushing integration to the limit. You may have to look really hard to find the Yahoo! ad (he use to run Google). Not only is the site using an image next to the ad but the webmaster has made his feature content list with the same look and feel as the ad!

The TechZone. This list wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t show an example from one of my sites. You can see how I use an image of the Bose headphone and an inline Google 336 to great effects here. Because of the Google TOS I am not allowed to reveal click rate or CPC information but I can tell you the Google 336 is my highest paying Google ad unit.

If you have other examples you like to share, feel free to post them. I would love to check them out.

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