What are gallery ads?

First reported in early 2019, Google’s gallery ads are a series of images with search headlines. They are able to be shown on mobile devices when the advertiser has the absolute top ad position. This type of ad is similar to the Facebook carousel ad format with swipeable cards. Gallery ads are currently in beta testing with no release date at the time of this article.

Creative options and decisions to make with Google Ads

While creating the ads is a simple process, deciding on image choice, headline text, and tag line text can create numerous strategic possibilities. As an advertiser you will want to consider your goals and determine if gallery ads are right for you.


The advertiser must utilize 4 to 8 images with an aspect ratio of 1.91:1. You are able to select the order of your images and can plan messaging accordingly.

The rules regarding the images are quite strict. Advertisers can only use photos that look ‘realistic’ with minimal digital manipulation. Prohibited image adjustments include, 3D rendered objects, all-white backgrounds, stylized backgrounds, photographic filters, text overlay, logo overlay, GIFs and collage images. Basically, if you have done anything outside of resizing it in photoshop, it will probably not get approved.


In traditional text ads, headlines were considered 80% of the ad in terms of the prominence they had. The new gallery ads will seemingly shift that focus to the alluring images. The text you do use will be important for a couple reasons including context and qualifying the potential website visitor.

Gallery ads have up to 3 headlines, but only 2 are guaranteed to show. A CTA in the headline 2 position may be valuable choice. These ads also include a unique text spot below each image called the tagline which are shown with each ad unit.


Each image has an optional text field called the tagline with a maximum of 70 characters. The character limit will cause minor troubles to newer advertisers who have grown accustomed to the 90 character description limit on modern text ads and don’t remember the days of scouring thesaurus.com to meet character limits. This will add an extra step for advertisers who want to simply copy over their descriptions from text ads to the tagline in gallery ads. Other possibilities are the keep the tagline text short and focus on key service points, callout extension-like propositions, or text related directly to the photo used.

Final thoughts

Some last things to keep in mind when testing gallery ads is your average position. Since these ads only display in the absolute top position, you will want to place them in ad groups with a high average position or increase bids while testing.

While we are still in the beginning phases of testing the new format out, initial results show very high CTR. Advertisers should be aware that since these ads are only eligible to show in the absolute top position, comparing CTR performance with standard ads is not an apples to apples comparison.


Get in touch with Paid Advertising experts at Forthea today. 

Google gallery ads
About The Author

Nathan is a PPC specialist with in-house and digital ad agency experience. As a competitor at work and off the clock, he strives to find ways to help clients win. In his free time, Nathan enjoys playing tennis, ping pong, and attending Houston sports games.

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