Can ‘hardcore SEO’ turn Google Image into a ‘unique advertising tool’?



This popped up in my timeline, and I thought it was interesting: an advertising agency claims it can turn Google Image Search into a ‘unique advertising tool‘, thanks to ‘hardcore SEO-craftmanship’:

A group of graduates of the Willem de Kooning Academy are taking Google’s Search Engine Optimization to a whole new level. They came up with Search Engine Advertising, which means that they are turning Google into a unique advertising medium. With the help of Qreativ and their hardcore SEO-craftmanship it’s now possible to display a complete ad in the image search results.

‘We’ve created this Search Engine Advertising campaign for Volkswagen during our third year in advertising, and we’re now talking with interesting parties to get this idea into production.’ Everyday millions of people are searching for products and brands on Google, and what could be best than an image to get the picture? If Google is the place to advertise yourself, then Search Engine Advertising is just the right tool to do it.

It works a bit like the Facebook mini-hack of the old days, where brands would upload 7 or 8 matching photos to create a mosaic on their fan page.

Of course, anyone can claim that they hacked the Google Image Search with SEO tricks, so they helpfully added a link to the results page, where at the time of our visit the picture looked slightly different – it’s almost there, but not quite:

Is it impressive?

It looks impressive, but some hardcore SEO keyword search shows that this trick shouldn’t be all that hard: there are a grand total of 46 worldwide searches per month for “ultimate business car”…I’m not an SEO specialist but with a few carefully calibrated backlinks you should be able to reproduce this. (I have a feeling that memes are going to get started here…)

And Volkswagen is probably not going to sell a truckload of cars this way.

So, kids, beware of the claims advertisers make. And yes, I realise they did just get some PR mileage from this (21st century life is complicated).

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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