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Increasing web traffic in a time when image and video is more in demand – is something traffic experts are always exploring. From Pinterest, to Google Image search and beyond, opportunities to drive new visitors and raise brand awareness are plenty.

Google image search is an essential tool which allows internet users to get many things done and has far more uses than just searching for images. It helps in the faster processing of information and is useful for everything including shopping, learning about task completion, and for inspiring people for almost everything, from interior design to fashion sense.

Image search has been changed over the years and Google’s aim is to make it a versatile tool for all its different uses. These changes to Google Images were recently outlined by Francois Spies, their Product Manager, at Google’s Webmaster conference in November 2019.

The presentation offered by Spies at the conference was recently published in video form and this article outlines what was presented.

Google Image Search Evolution

For many Google user, Google Images has become their go-to for all their web searches, not just for images. They can instantly find what they are looking for with no need to read endless web pages.

Two years ago, an image search would only yield images that had no context, making it hard for users to use these images practically. Internet users were delighted when Google changed this by adding context and domains to each image, making their searches a pleasure.

At that time, Google also changed how it ranks results, not just from the images but also from the best landing pages and content. Users could now choose the most relevant according to the purpose that the image was required.

Structured data was introduced to image search by Google for various images including products, videos and recipes, and the information is displayed to users when they preview an image by clicking on it.

Google Images and its most recent launches

Over the last few months, Google has rolled out even more welcome changes to its Image Search.

Changes on desktop

This was the first redesign of Google Images for desktops in five years. It now offers the same features that that are available on the mobile version.

Mobile version improvements

Google Images previews on mobile have also received some up-to-date visual changes. Included is a prominent button for users wanting to visit the page.

Faster access using swipe

Mobile users can now click on an image and swipe up on their screen to visit a web page if the image appears on an AMP page.

Best practices tips for Google Images optimization

At the presentation, Google offered three tips for image optimization best practices.

  • Data used, especially for products, videos and recipes must be structured.
  • High-quality and optimized images are essential. These must be placed alongside text and pages must be mobile-friendly.
  • It is important that description titles, descriptions and file names are used.

Over the years, Google Images has changed to accommodate the ever-changing habits of Internet users. Users now demand instant information, whether they are researching a product to purchase, or just getting ideas for decorating their home. Smartphone usage has also exploded and Google Images has ensured that it offers users images, information and the opportunity to act within seconds.

Final scoop:

Image search is merely one aspect of SEO. Remember many conventional secondary SEO tactics, such as appearing in directory listings are still quite important. A good selection of channels to drive new traffic is off course the best hedged position a business can have.


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