Google is increasing the number of images it returns in web search results. Data from seoClarity has shown that “images in the Top 10 leapt from an approximately 24% occurrence to a 34% occurrence” highlighting that more than one third of all keywords now contain Google Images.
This means it’s even more important for digital marketers to make sure images are optimised as well as web pages.
Back in January, Google’s John Mueller emphasised that image search was going to be a bigger topic in 2019 tweeting: “images are (once again) gaining importance overall on the web, and a reminder to think of them as a way of enabling users to find your content through Google Images / image search.”
The way people are using image search is changing. It used to be that people would look for images to include in their blogs, presentations etc. but there’s been a shift. Image searches have become more transactional, more educational, and people are using images for more search related tasks.
According to seoClarity, “not only are images more frequently appearing in the Top 10, they are showing up HIGHER in the SERPs than ever before” meaning some visibility could be lost for those who rank on page 1 for their relevant keywords.
You can see here that when searching the term “logo t-shirts” the images are the highest organic result, sitting just underneath the ads:
Research shows that images drive quite a low amount of real traffic however, providing more visibility to images could drive ecommerce related queries to a more visual purchase path.
This spike in image results could level off, or it could increase – you just never know with Google. The main takeaway is that Google Images should be considered another source of traffic that marketers won’t want to miss out on.