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How to Get Better Results from Google Images

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Google images

Google has made a change to Google Analytics that will help site publishers get better results from its image database.

Anyone who searches for images at will see a display of five images per row. The maximum display size of those images is about 320 pixels wide and 200 deep.

Google attempts to display the entire image. That means a deep image such as 300 x 600 will shrink to only 200 pixels deep. The width of the image will shrink to 100 wide.

The result is an image much harder to read than a horizontal one. It doesn’t mean a site publisher should only do images that are horizontal for the sake of Google images. It does mean some thought should go into how the images are created for the maximum benefit from such a large, heavily used database.

How Analytics Has Changed

Previously, Google Analytics included traffic from the images database under “Google organic”. Now it appears in its own line as / organic.

The change may reduce the number of visits from Google organic line item depending on how many visits a site gets from the images database.

The new analytics line item smells suspiciously like a beginning move by Google in the direction of Pinterest. But that’s idle speculation for now.

What makes the change so useful is that it allows a site publisher to focus on how much traffic a site gets from the images database. It also allows for greater insights from experimentation.

What to Do With the Numbers

Click on the line item link. Go to Secondary Dimension / Behavior / Landing Page. The result will show which site pages had visits from the images database.

Then go to those pages to view the images on them and from there go to to search for those images using relevant keywords. Focus on the best-performing images.

The search results will show how an image appears compared to other images relevant to those keywords. It’s helpful to consider a few questions:

  • What is the rank of the site’s image?
  • How does it look compared to other images?
  • Can any changes to the image attract more clicks?
  • Can any changes on the site itself improve its rank in Google’s image database?

Changing a photo to improve its click value on Google is hard to do. It may benefit from better cropping or some enhancement to the clarity.

But changing a graphic is much easier. For example, a graphic may have a heading in small type that is hard to read. Increasing that heading will make it pop out more in the images search results and may attract more clicks.

Otherwise, increasing the rank of the image depends on the competition and the search engine optimization of the image. Unique images getting better rankings. Image SEO improves with attention in particular to the alt tag and caption.

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