Google is now serving up more images in core web search results in a move that again highlights the need for webmasters and marketers to include more visuals in their content to improve returns from search engine optimization.
A recent analysis of search results by SEOClarity found that images are now featuring in the top ten rankings at a 34% occurrence rate, which is higher than the previous 24% figure. The increase was first noted on 13 April, so it appears that Google made a subtle change to show more images earlier this month.
The data from the content insight and optimization platform SEOClarity also shows a marked increase in Google images for the top three positions since 13 April. The trend has also been backed up by research from Mozcast and Rank Ranger, where a small spike on 11 April is followed by a more pronounced rise.
The image increase is not a great surprise considering that Google’s John Mueller said in January that bigger changes for image search were on the horizon. Google has also hinted to SEOs in recent months that image-based search should be a primary focus this year.
The latest changes mean that marketers should always try to optimize any images in their content for Google image search as it could be a key driver of traffic to webpages. It also demonstrates the pressing need to mix the written word with visuals to make content more relevant for end users, including those inputting queries on leading search engines.