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Google Testing Paid Inclusion In Image Search Results Page

Google has already started testing paid inclusion in its image search section and an ITProPortal reader who happened to have been chosen to be part of the test group sent us a screen capture showing the actual SERP.

Clicking on the advert does not bring a picture overlay as one would expect. Instead, it goes directly to the product page as it would do on a normal SERP. This further blurs the line between useful SERP and actual paid for advertising which has been Google's bread and butter.

Google has already announced that it will introduce a new pay-to-play based shopping listings service next year in a bid to "deliver the best answers for people searching for products and helping connect merchants with the right customers."

And the cynic in me to add "and collect a commission along the way". We have yet to see example of paid inclusion in the main Google SERP but we suspect that it won't be long before Google rolls them out and revives the spectre of Inktomi/Hotbot and Altavista.