While there is is no question that the written text of an online article affects its SEO, the visual elements of online content are becoming increasingly important for SEO marketers trying to reach their target audience. Google has made several updates to their visual search over the years. Last week, the company announced an overhaul to the ability to search through visual content, which could affect the ways marketers try to reach a target audience.
When Google first introduced image search the focus was on searching for images that fit a keyword or phrase. Over the years, Google has made a number of updates to make using Google Image search more immersive experience for searching visual content. As the company explained, “These changes are aimed at helping people better find information visually, and making it easier to pursue the things people come to Google Images for help with, like shopping for products, styling a room, or tackling a DIY project”
“Today, we’re introducing three fundamental shifts in how we think about Search, including a range of new features that use AI to make your search experience more visual and enjoyable,” Google explained in a recent blog post. “And when you know you want to search visually, we’re making the Google Images experience even more useful and powerful.”
Earlier in 2018, Google introduced visual elements to the articles using the AMP Project. Now, Google is adding AI to intelligently construct AMP stories and surface this content in Search. Right now, the new feature will focus on things like celebrities and athlete news (things that produce a lot of imagery) and Google hopes that consumers will find this useful for providing a glimpse into facts and important moments from the celebrity and influencers they care about in a rich, visual format. The new format lets users easily tap to the articles for more information and provides a new way to discover content from the web.
Google is also changing the look of search results to make it easier to incorporate meaningful videos in the main search research. The goal is to make possible for users who make a search about a topic can sort through the video previews to find the content that are more closely related to the thing a person was searching for.
This is a little easier to explain via example. Google illustrated how the new video search explaining how the video search could help someone was planning a trip to Zion National Park. The new video search makes it possible for people who hadn’t been to the par to know which specific landmarks to look for when mapping out their trek.
As Google explained, “With featured videos, we take our deep understanding of the topic space (in this case, the most important landmarks in the park) and show the most relevant videos for those subtopics. For Zion National Park, you might see a video for each attraction, like Angels Landing or the Narrows. This provides a more holistic view of the video content available for a topic, and opens up new paths to discover more.
Google is also updating the interface for Google Search. There is now more context around images, including captions that show users the title of the webpage where each image is published. For people who are scanning images for content, this extra piece of information is critical to helping users understand the page behind the image. Similarly, Google will also suggest related search terms at the top of the page for more guidance. Ironically, this kind of interface was used on mobile first, but is now coming to desktops which have more display room to work with.