As we rely on screens more, our culture is becoming more and more visual. As a result, modern web design is all about images. This is where web design can come into conflict with SEO- when we only have pictures and not text on a page. However, there isn’t a real contradiction between good web design and SEO practices.
This was highlighted in Google IO 2019. A large part of the State of Search talk was dedicated to images.
More and more people are using Google Image search to find the information they need. This applies to many different topics. According to John Mueller, “sometimes an image is an ideal snippet to show in search.” This is why Google is making a change to image search. Images will soon be showing more information about the information on the page- from which the image was found. In other words, as Mueller said, “an image is a gateway to the content underlying it.”
At Google IO 2019, John Mueller gave us 9 things to do to get your images into Google Image search.
Mueller gave us several resources that can help us understand these best-practices, too:
Most of Mueller’s suggestions are the same-old best-practices for images, in search. Google still can’t “read” an image to figure out what it is about- or why you’ve placed it on a page. You need to take steps to tell Google what this is about using text- whether nearby text, alt text, file names, structured data, etc.
There are subtle warnings about image sizes in this, as well. While Google says you need to have quality images, that doesn’t mean high-resolution! It’s referring to unique and helpful images. This is also why they’re recommending developers use lazy-loading (to prevent images from slowing page speed). It’s also why they’re recommending using the PICTURE element- to handle responsive images better. But this is nothing new.
Start using unique and helpful images on our sites. I think stock photos will go extinct as Google values high-quality imagery. I this also means we need to stop re-using the same pictures over and over again, on our own site. In short- we can’t be lazy with our image choices any longer.
Don’t have time for this? Hire a photographer. They can do it cheaper than you- once you consider the time it will take you and quality you need.
The Google team spent a lot of time talking about images, in Google IO 2019. Will you allow me to speculate, a little?
Google might shift to an image-based search engine.
Why do I think this? For one, they’re already moving in this direction.
If the future of Google is an image-based search engine, they need SEOs to pay attention to imagery used on their pages. They need us to make sure to include an image at the top of the page that corresponds to the topic. They need us to make sure we stop re-using the same photos or the SERPs will be full of the same images for different websites. I think Google is social-engineering us to prepare us for an image-based search engine.
Reliable Acorn will help you create a custom digital marketing strategy that does just that.Ready to Talk?