Google Recommends Max Image Preview For Boosting Traffic

how to increase seo traffic

Google recently published a new case study, which states that using the Max Image Preview directive can significantly boost SEO traffic. The directive is a meta tag that SEO agencies and online businesses could easily add to their websites. According to the case study, using this tag can boost the number of clicks by as much as 333 per cent.

Google Discover And Large Images

Google Discover is a great platform to publish articles and attract a huge crowd of users interested in a specific topic. For instance, users looking for articles about used car reviews might see recommendations for guides about purchasing used vehicles, making this platform an excellent alternate source of traffic. Instead of ranking for search queries, online businesses and site owners can make their pages more attractive for Google Discover.

Google recommends that the SEO community use a meta tag called Max Image Preview, which can help maximise click-through rates when the search engine features content in Discover. This meta tag allows publishers to control the size of the image in the preview when Google displays their web page in Discover.

The Max Image Preview meta tag is a directive, meaning Google must follow the instructions in the meta tag at all costs.

Google also suggests setting the meta tag to tell the search engine to show the biggest image on the web page. Showing large images in Google Discover helps the web page stand out and results in more traffic.

The Max Image Preview settings look like this:

<meta name=”robots” content=”max-image-preview:large”>

“Robots” means the meta tag is meant for software called “robots”, which crawls the websites on the Internet. Robots are also referred to as spiders and crawlers because they “crawl” the web.

As for the part that’s labelled “content”, it tells the search engine what size image to show.

Then, there are three settings that publishers can choose from: large, standard, and none. Here is the explanation for each setting:

  • Large – Google will show a bigger image preview up to the width of the viewport
  • Standard – Google will show a default image
  • None – Google will not show any image preview in Google Discover

Google recommends that online businesses and publishers choose the large setting to achieve the maximum amount of SEO traffic from Google Discover. Meanwhile, not using the meta tag will automatically cause Google to use the default image preview.

Case Studies Show The Usefulness Of The Max Image Preview Tag

Google introduced two case studies stating how this meta tag could result in significant traffic increases.

The first case study involved a food blog. Upon using the Max Image Preview tag, their click-through rate from Discover increased by 79 per cent. The next case study involved a Brazilian magazine site, which saw a 333 per cent increase in clicks within six months after they used the meta tag. Their click-through rate from Discover also increased by 30 per cent.

The magazine publisher shared their thoughts, saying that implementing the meta tag with large image preview settings resulted in a meaningful increase in their click-through rates and clicks. They also added that it makes a huge difference in a publisher’s daily work.

Google’s piece of advice for increasing traffic via Discover is easy to do and too good to ignore, especially when it could lead to massive increases in one’s site traffic and rankings.

Policy For Images In Google Discover

In Google Discover, the content feed under the search bar shows web pages with either large image previews or thumbnail-sized images. Large images are bigger and clearer than thumbnail-sized photos, and the more prominent visuals will almost always get more attention. Either way, all kinds of content should be first eligible before they could appear in Google Discover.

Large image previews will show in Google Discover if the web page has a picture that’s at least 1200 pixels (px) wide.

Site owners have to set large image previews with the max-image-preview:large setting for non-AMP pages. As for AMP pages, they do not need to go through this step because large previews are automatically displayed if the web page contains a picture with a width of at least 1200 px.

Lastly, content publishers should avoid using a logo as their content’s main image if they want to be featured in Google Discover. Instead, they should opt for high-quality, unique, and compelling images.

One also shouldn’t forget that Google aims to provide an excellent experience for their users, so only compliant content will appear in Discover. The types of content that are considered ineligible include:

  • Dangerous content
  • Harassing content
  • Deceptive practices
  • Hateful content
  • Medical content
  • Manipulated media
  • Terrorist content
  • Sexually explicit content
  • Vulgar language and profanity
  • Violence and gore

Aside from these, Google Discover also has feature-specific policies. Here are some of them:

Ads And Sponsored Content:

Advertisement and other paid promotional content should not exceed the original content on one’s web pages. Google Discover also does not allow content that misrepresents or conceals sponsored content as independent, editorial content. Sponsorship includes, but is not limited to, material support, payment, ownership, or affiliate interest. Publishers should clearly disclose these to their readers.

Elections Content

Google will remove content with outdated voting information or those that originate from user-generated sources.


Site visitors should be able to trust writers and publishers of news content, which is why Google requires them to provide:

  • Information about the author, publisher, and publication
  • Information about the company or network behind the content
  • Clear dates and bylines
  • Contact information

Google will remove content and images from Discover if these violate their policies. If there is a repeated or egregious violation, the website will be no longer eligible for Discover. However, Google could make exceptions if a website is based on educational, artistic, historical, documentary, or scientific considerations and other substantial benefits to the readers.

Work With The UK’s Top SEO Agency

If you’re looking to boost your search engine rankings and site traffic, our expert team at Position1SEO have you covered. We can enact the necessary improvements to your website and make sure that it is fully compliant with Google’s guidelines, letting you get better search visibility without the risk of getting any Google penalties.

Our white hat SEO strategies have proved effective for the wide range of clients that we’ve worked with over the years. With our no-stone-unturned approach, we can help you achieve the top spot on Google’s Page 1, regardless of the number of key phrases you want to target.

If you want to know more about our services, you can call us on 0141 846 0114 or email us at office@position1seo.co.uk.

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Author: Jason Ferry
Jason Ferry is an SEO specialist based in the United Kingdom. Taking pride in his many years of experience in the search engine optimisation industry, he has honed his skills in various digital marketing processes. From keyword marketing, website auditing, and link building campaigns, to social media monitoring, he is well-versed in all of them. Jason Ferry’s excellent skills in SEO, combined with his vast experience, makes him one of the best professionals to work with in the industry today. Not only does he guarantee outstanding output for everyone he works with, but also values a deep relationship with them as well.

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