‘Visual Sitelinks’ –  The Return of The Image Extension?

‘Visual Sitelinks’ – The Return of The Image Extension?

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Google have unveiled a ‘new’ mobile beta product dubbed ‘Visual Sitelinks’.

For those of you who have been following digital marketing for a number of years, this will feel an awful lot like déjà vu, and that’s because it should. Google initially rolled out its Image Extension beta back in 2013. However, this foray sadly never made it past the proving field.

Skip ahead four ‘Years Of The Mobile’ and here we go once again. However, this time Google are playing catch up as they battle competition from Bing, who have been showing Image Extensions for the past year.

Nonetheless, we were lucky enough to once again be whitelisted, and eager to measure the impact within the context of Google’s new ‘mobile first’ vision.

The Details

Visual sitelinks are available exclusively on mobile, replacing your standard text sitelinks. A minimum of 4 clickable images, 16:9 aspect ratio, will use the same ‘carousel’ feature now seen within Google’s Price Extensions.


The Performance

To be blunt, Image Extensions totally dominate the mobile page. While it’s impossible to dispute their visual impact, the question is whether the numbers match the ‘wow factor’ the images invoke?

Two weeks in, exposure is impressive and initial performance numbers are very promising.

The Bullet Points

  • CTRs with Image Extensions are 30% higher than mobile averages.
  • Mobile CPCs remain consistent.
  • Account wide upward trend in Impression Assisted conversions.

Interestingly enough, and counter to alternative extensions, Visual Sitelinks are 5 times more likely to appear for ‘Non-Brand’ terms. This renders their use especially potent – for those with the budget to field the necessary position 1 required, that is.

The bottom line is, make sure you take advantage of this beta if you can – Google won’t release it for a third time. Centre Parcs, a client of DAC London, was invited to use the beta version, an opportunity DAC jumped at and have used with brilliant results thus far. Centre Parcs provided the perfect candidate for this roll-out, as they have very strong visuals that work especially well on Visual Sitelinks.