Google Image Algorithm: Image Search Ranking Factors Explained
Google had rolled out Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 to improve the quality of Google image search.
This Google image algorithm update was intended to improve image search results by taking into account the factors like image placement on the page, the freshness of the content, and the page authority to determine the position of images in Google image search.
How Often Does Google Change Its Image Algorithm?
Unlike the algorithm updates that Google releases almost daily, the Google image algorithm gets fewer updates.
Even the last update announced by Google was rolled out in different phases over the last one year.
Users have been complaining about spammy and duplicate images in Google Image Search for quite some time.
Two announced changes to Google's Image Search Algorithm:
1) Authority/Topical Relevance of webpage is a bigger ranking factor
2) Sites where "image is central to the page, and higher up on the page" are prioritizedhttps://t.co/kLygCHxJX9 pic.twitter.com/GlE3sqPQJj
— Cyrus (@CyrusShepard) September 26, 2018
What Does Google Say About the Google Image Algorithm Update 2018?
In its official release, Google says that the Image algorithm overhaul happened over the period of one year. The statement also adds that the new Google image algorithm will pick quality images from pages that have high-quality content.
Google confirmed that the images belonging to sites with high authority will rank better.
This is what Google says, “If you’re searching for DIY shelving, the site behind the image is now more likely to be a site related to DIY projects.
We also prioritize fresher content, so you’re more likely to visit a site that has been updated recently.”
How On-Page SEO Decides the Fate of Images in Google Search?
Another essential revelation that Google made, following the image search algorithm roll-out, is that the placement of an image will matter a lot in search ranking.
According to Google, images that feature at the beginning of the article/page and the one that is in the middle will receive priority in the image search result.
For example, if you have an online store selling shoes, the image at the beginning of a product page that is dedicated to a pair of shoes will get more priority than the pictures on a category page showing a range of shoe styles.
How does the Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 Work?
Google Image Algorithm works either by scouring for related images that are based on the search query the user enters or by analyzing the image you upload through Google’s reverse image search, AKA, the “Search By Image” option.
Step 1: Google will crawl the images and web pages simultaneously
Google-bot, or the Google spiders, visit websites and retrieve data that is made available by the website. During this process, Google reads the data from images.
Step 2: Google creates an index for image search
Google’s search index is a collection of data from billions of web pages. The data about the images – importantly the Alt text- is stored in Google’s Database.
Step 3: The Image Search Algorithm Comes into action
Google analyses the search query of the users or the image uploaded through “Search by Image”. Based on several algorithm factors, the search engine ranks images for the specific query.
Google Fixed These Issues with its Image Algorithm Update
- Many spammy images were featured in the first few positions of the image search results page. The new update should be able to downgrade them, and instead, put relevant images at top positions.
- The new Google Image Algorithm Update 2018, will provide better contextual images because the algorithm is looking at image placement.
- Many times users end up seeing a deleted image when they try to view it outside Google results page. Hopefully, this issue gets resolved in the future.
- With impetus on authority pages, Google can downgrade duplicate images.
How to Rank in Google Image Search?
- Upload high-quality, unique images that are optimized for the web.
- Use descriptive file names.
- Place the images on the first fold of your content/product pages.
- Add contextual images in the middle of the content/product pages.
- Add valid Image Alt Text and image description.
New Features of Google Image Search
There are reports that Google has rolled out a slew of new features to the Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 and to the image search feature as well.
One of the most anticipated ones is the refinement button that shows image thumbnails in bubbles at the header section.
This was a much sought-after feature because it will help users filter their image search for specific categories. Additionally, Google search on mobile integrates with Google lens, which is a great add-on too.
The image search has a new design now, which has more curves again – this feature is a highlight of Google’s material design.
The new feature includes additions to Google Image search and the algorithm update, that was received, shows Google’s effort to bring more contextual content to its users.
If you have queries related on how to optimize images and content for Google, please feel free to contact Stan Ventures.