Google Image Algorithm: Image Search Ranking Factors Explained

Written by Dileep Thekkethil

Updated on Sep 14, 2020
Category: Google Updates

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The search engine giant Google confirmed that a new Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 was rolled out to improve the quality of Google image search.

The new Google image algorithm sets to improve image search results by counting 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.

Google Image Algorithm Update

How Often Does Google Change Its Image Algorithm?

Unlike the core algorithm update that Google releases almost daily, the Google image algorithm gets fewer updates.

Even the latest 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.

Now, that the long overdue Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 has been released, the image search is expected to get better.

Earlier in August, Google had come up with a Broad Core Algorithm update that had a massive effect on healthcare and YMYL websites.

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 last year. The statement also adds that the new Google image algorithm will pick quality images from pages that have a high content.

Google confirms that the images belonging to the websites have high page authority and they will rank better than the ones from the starters.

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 in a category page showing a range of shoe styles.

How does the Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 Work?New Google Image Search Interface

Google Image Algorithm Update 2018 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.

 

Must Needed Fixes for Issues While Searching for Images on Google

  • 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?

  1. Upload high-quality, unique images that are optimized for the web.
  2. Use descriptive file names.
  3. Place the images on the first fold of your content/product pages.
  4. Add contextual images in the middle of the content/product pages.
  5. 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.

About Dileep Thekkethil

Dileep Thekkethil, a Journalism Postgraduate, was formerly with a US-based online magazine, is the SEO Expert at Stan Ventures. A He is a frequent blogger who keeps a tab on the latest updates in SEO and technology arena. Reach me @ Mail | LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook or View all posts by Dileep

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