When Optimising For Image Search Focus on The User Journey
Rather than just optimising images technically, John recommends focusing more on how a user will search for the visual content on your site.
Google Uses Alt Attribute as Part of Anchor For Linked Images
For linked images, Google sees the alt attribute as a descriptive part of the page it is on, but it is also used as part of the anchor for the page the image is linking to.
For Image Optimization Check Indexing, Deferred Loading Method & Discoverable Links in DOM
For images John recommends looking out for which ones are being indexed, double checking the method for deferred loading and checking links can be discovered by Googlebot in the DOM.
Google Has No Preference Between Text Links & Image Links
Google has adapted to handle all sorts of different organic links, and doesn’t see text links as better than image links.
Decorative Images Don’t Need to be Indexed
Decorative images like stock photos don’t need to be indexed because they won’t provide a useful path for users coming to your site from image search. Instead, focus on images that have value for your business such as product images.
Using Stock Photos Will Not Impact Web Search Rankings
The images used on a page don’t have an impact on normal web search rankings. However, within image search Google typically recognise stock photos which are being used on several different sites and will pick just one to be indexed.
Images Implemented Via Lazy Loading Can be Used Like Any Other Image on a Page
Images implemented via the lazy load script can be added to structured data and sitemaps without any issues, as long as they are embedded in a way that Googlebot is able to pick up.
Image URLs Won’t Be Fetched in the GSC URL Inspection Tool
The URL Inspection tool in Search Console is based on search results and will therefore only display web pages. If Google recognises a URL is an image, it will not be fetched with the tool and will most likely display a ‘blocked by robots.txt’ message.
Ensure Embedded Images Are Clearly Marked As Images
If images that are embedded on a site are not clearly marked as images, Google may not be able to see or index these e.g. using CSS to embed images. This is particularly common when the code is different for desktop and mobile versions of a website.