There’s a “test” feature that Google is currently running in AdWords which automatically shows text ads in your display campaigns as image ads. I recently encountered this while on a webpage where I saw a really ugly image ad and noticed that it was for one of our clients.
After looking through their account, we weren’t running any ads that looked like the one I saw online. So I reached out to Google’s Customer support team and was directed to this post in their help center about these Automatic Image Extensions.
The basics of this experiment is that Google will take text ads that you are running in display campaigns and turn them in to image ads, bringing in colors, and images from your landing page.
The problem is that you don’t have control of how they look, and the one that was running for our client looked like a giant heap of….well….it could have used a lot of design help. The main issue I see with these is that there is no way to see the results, which ads performed better – text only ads, or image ads based off of your text ads. So you lose a bit of control as an advertiser.
Google’s Support offered this on the auto-opt-in features:
As AdWords is always evolving, there are features that [are] going to be tested such as a feature like this. All features such as these would have an opt-out option but we don’t have an exhaustive list available
So while Google does not have an exhaustive list available of all features, there is an opt-out form so that your account doesn’t participate in this experiment.