Google Updates Image Search Guidelines For SEOs & Publishers

May 9, 2018 - 8:30 am 8 by

Google Images

John Mueller from Google posted on Twitter that they have updated their image publishing guidelines at this help document. I covered it last night at Search Engine Land and summed up the changes that Google basically added more information around the new structured data features, page speed information and device-friendly advice.

I love comparing the old version to the new version, so here is a screen shot of the old version, make sure to click it to enlarge:

click for full size

So not much changed with the old, but they added a lot of new guidelines around structured data features, page speed information and device-friendly advice.

Google has a section around the page titles used as image captions now. They also have information around how Google Image search uses structured data, specifically Product markup, Video markup and Recipe markup, to improve the image search results.

Google also talks about page speed and gives information on the latest image optimization and responsive image techniques, AMP and PageSpeed Insights tool.

Here are the updated Google guidelines for image search around user experience:

  • Provide good context: Make sure that your visual content is relevant to the topic of the page. We suggest that you display images only where they add original value to the page. We particularly discourage pages where neither the images or the text are original content.
  • Optimize placement: Whenever possible, place images near relevant text. When it makes sense, consider placing the most important image near the top of the page.
  • Don’t embed important text inside images: Avoid embedding text in images, especially important text elements like page headings and menu items, because not all users can access them (and page translation tools won't work on images). To ensure maximum accessibility of your content, keep text in HTML, provide alt text for images. 
  • Create informative and high quality sites: Good content on your webpage is just as important as visual content for Google Images - it provides context and makes the result more actionable. Page content may be used to generate a text snippet for the image, and Google considers the page content quality when ranking images.
  • Create device-friendly sites: Users search on Google Images more from mobile than on desktop. For this reason, it is important that you design your site for all device types and sizes. Use the mobile friendly testing tool to test how well your pages work on mobile devices, and get feedback on what needs to be fixed.
  • Create good URL structure for your images: Google uses the URL path as well as the file name to help it understand your images. Consider organizing your image content so that URLs are constructed logically.

So do a compare of the old and the new and have fun!

Forum discussion at Twitter.


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