Google Is Not Concerned About Image Content And Quality In Web Search
Online businesses and site owners often use quality Google images in SEO sites for better results. However, Google’s John Mueller explained that their web search algorithm is unconcerned with the content of an image. According to the search engine company, all that matters is it’s labelled with correct structured data. Whether Google SEO experts upload a blank square or an award-winning photo, the SEO value it adds to the page is all the same.
On 22 October, Mueller discussed this matter during a Search Central SEO hangout. A website owner asked him about using placeholder images together with lazy loading. The person had a website that had grey squares across its pages, and when a visitor starts scrolling and gets closer to the grey square, it is immediately replaced with an actual picture.
The site owner took this approach to enhance page speed and prevent their web page from moving around in a visitor’s browser, which can happen when many pictures are loaded all at once. The person asked if using this configuration is safe – after all, Googlebot won’t engage with the web pages nor see the pictures.
Although this query is about using lazy loading to improve the cumulative layout shift (CLS), Mueller provided an answer that applies to SEO in general.
Many SEOs wonder if they could add more SEO value by using their own Google images in SEO sites instead of generic stock photos. They often ask if Google can identify an image with helpful information, such as an infographic or a chart photo. Mueller answered all these questions about images and web search.
Google’s John Mueller On Images & Web Search
Mueller answered that they don’t analyse particular photos on a web page and judge whether they are nice or terrible. Within web search, Google doesn’t care about the content of an image.
When it comes to web search, the search engine’s main concern is the signals, such as alt text and structured data. These are crucial factors in web search because they allow Google to understand the web page better.
However, things are different when it comes to image search. Mueller said that Google generally uses those pictures in image search, where they pay more attention to the photo’s contents.
To answer the site owner’s main question, using images for grey squares in a lazy loading approach would be acceptable.
Mueller emphasised that Google can receive all the information it needs through structured data. He said that using lazy loading is fine and added that it’s something SEOs can try testing to improve the CLS side. However, what matters most is that Google has information about the photos on those web pages.
For SEOs who are not sure if Google recognises their lazy loading, Mueller recommends using image structured data. He said that site owners and publishers only need to give Google the structured data for those pictures, and the system will detect it.
It’s worth noting that this information can only be applied to Google’s web search algorithm. What’s in an image is important to the Google Images algorithm.
Moreover, it matters to site visitors. The search engine may not be concerned with the time and effort that Google SEO experts put into creating the ideal graphic for a piece of content, but site visitors will.
Images may have an impact on how someone feels after reading a piece of content. They’ll most likely return if the images influenced how much they liked it.
Why Use Structured Data
Structured data improves a search engine’s ability to comprehend the content and makes a website more noticeable in search results. Here are all the advantages of using structured data:
Organises content for search engines
If a page has structured data, search engines will process its content more effectively and give visitors a superior browsing experience. When users search for pricing, reviews, and other narrow queries, they’ll see relevant results.
Helps websites stand out in the SERPs
Rich snippets are additional information associated with search results, such as images, ratings, pricing, and so on. These enhanced results are more appealing to users than usual results without structured data; thus, they attract more clicks. It means that when pages are shown as rich snippets, their CTR will be higher.
According to a study, including structured data on a page improves the click-through rate by 51 per cent. A page with valid structured data can also show up as a Knowledge Graph and provide additional information about photos and videos in addition to rich snippets.
Makes snippets more appealing on social media
What people will see in posts on social media platforms depends on the structured data. If publishers wish to have a title and an image included in their posts, they should use the Open Graph markup.
Adjusts the web pages to voice search
If a web page uses structured data to specify the type of content it contains, like recipes, tutorials, and news, Google Assistant will be able to display content when a user do voice searches like “find a recipe”, “answer a question”, “show news”, and so on.
Want To Improve Your Structured Data? Position1SEO Can Help!
Structured data is a great way to organise your website content, making it easier for Google and other search engines to understand, index, and rank your web pages. With structured data, you can provide specific answers in response to questions about topics such as weather forecasts or movie showtimes. If you want more traffic from Google searches, allow Position1SEO to help you with your site’s structured data!
Position1SEO is a UK-based SEO company providing you with quality services that deliver the best results. When it comes to search engine optimisation, there is nothing more important than structured data for images, videos, text, or any other content type that may be on your site.
Our team has extensive experience in white hat techniques to help your site succeed in SEO organically. Combined with our no-stone-unturned approach and tried-and-tested tactics, you will be sure to get the best out of your website.
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