21 Dec 06 9:28 pm
Sean's right, it does seem a bit hard to enforce. I think the point they're trying to make is that you shouldn't have misleading pictures next to your ads. Their examples are pretty over the top, but you get the picture -- if you have a picture of a banana next to an ad for grapefruits, that's misleading.
The idea is that the advertisers are paying for each click, and if what you're doing on your page results in a visitor clicking the ad and then feeling disappointed or misled when they get to the advertiser's page... then the advertiser will be losing money.
Google aren't saying *not* to use images. They're saying "make sure the viewer knows that the image isn't related to the ad". Or "make sure your images are so generic that they're not going to be misconstrued." They recommend putting borders around the images or mis-aligning them, but I think if your images are reasonably generic (for instance, on a hair style site, having images of people with hair...) then I'm guessing it wouldn't be too much of a problem.
Another thing you could do is have an obvious style for your images. Like they might all be cartoon-style, or they might all be black and white, for example. I don't think it's the actual content of the image itself that accounts for greater success at getting clicks -- I think it's just the fact that there's an image. I haven't noticed any difference between cartoon ads and photo ads, for instance.
I still recommend having small images next to your ads. Just try to keep them generic and obvious, or as google says, place borders around them.
Also, images aren't everything, the main thing is that the ads are relevant, and well positioned. I have a friend who gets slightly higher click through rates than I do, and he doesn't have images next to his ads, I might experiment with that and see how that goes. Part of that success is due to picking and cutting irrelevant ads (which you can do).
Last edited by markling
on 28 Dec 06 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.