According to Google’s Gary Illyes, image and video search are most often overlooked, and SEOs should be paying more attention.
This is a topic that came up multiple times through his Reddit AMA on February 8.
In fact, Illyes started his AMA thread by stating: “Nowadays I’m focusing more on Google Images and Video.”
A Reddit user picked up on that statement and asked for more information about what’s on the way for image search this year.
Illyes responded saying he can’t pre-announce anything, but media search is “way too ignored,” even on Google’s end.
Google will be tasking more engineers with working on media search this year.
Here’s Illyes’ full statement:
“We simply know that media search is way too ignored for what it’s capable doing for publishers so we’re throwing more engineers at it as well as more outreach.”
This topic was touched on again further down the thread when a Reddit user asked: “Is there anything that most SEO’s tend to overlook/not pay attention to?”
That’s when Illyes revealed that image and video search are the most overlook by SEOs.
In his words:
“Google Images and Video search is often overlooked, but they have massive potential.”
A few other interesting bits of information related to images were provided during the AMA .
Image Recognition is a Relevancy Signal
Illyes responded to the following question with a simple “Yea”:
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“Is Google’s image recognition technology used as a relevancy signal within the document selection algorithm within the index?”
What does that mean for SEOs?
Well, knowing that image recognition is a relevancy signal, it would make sense to use images more tactfully.
That means using images that Google can easily recognize as being relevant to what’s being written about in a piece of content.
Perhaps that goes without saying, but there’s often a tendency to use random images such as memes and GIFs to make content more engaging for readers.
Is Google able to recognize the relevance of those images? Probably not as easy as something that’s more straightforward.
Web Accessibility is Not a Ranking Factor for Images and Video
While making images more accessible through elements like alt text is recommended, it’s not a direct ranking factor.
The following question was asked:
“Will web accessibility be considered direct ranking factor for images and video rankings?”
Illyes responded with: “Unfortunately, no.”
For more insight from Google’s Gary Illyes, read the full AMA here.