TechCrunch reports that Google started to experiment with displaying ads next to image search results. This isn't a surprise, since Google announced in May that it intends to test display ads.
There are different formats and positions for the ads, which combine a small image with a standard text ad. Steve Poland spotted a blended ad that looked deceivingly similar to an image result.
"The big insight of Google wasn't text ads; it was that the ads should be conducive to the format. We were doing text-based search that was all textual. Visual ads don't work in that format," explained Marissa Mayer in February, when Google started to test video ads next to web search results.
Google Image Search prepares to become more useful by adding options to find similar images, recognize faces and objects. The new features will increase the site's popularity and will attract more commercial queries that could be monetized using display ads.