Search engine provider Google introduced its own image search on the Web in 2001 with Google Images or Google Images. Right now, Google Image Search is firmly integrated into Google's global vertical search portfolio.
The results of Google Images are also used for the Knowledge Graph and with sufficient relevance for the enrichment of the organic SERPs. Image SEO aims to better rank images in Image Search.
Stages of development
As early as 2001, when Google Images was launched, a quarter of a billion images were already in the search engine index. Four years later, Google hit the 1 billion indexed image mark. By 2010, it was about 10 billion. Comparatively, more than 1 billion images were selected daily by Google.
The functions of Google Images were gradually expanded. In 2007, you could see the resolution and destination URL of an image by hovering over it with the mouse pointer. Due to poor feedback from users, Google discontinued this feature. But in 2009 he updated it. Now the index also shows similar images.
In 2011, Google in conclusion introduced reverse image search. From then on, users could upload images or enter an image URL in the search bar to search for similar images.
In 2012, the search for images on Google was equipped with a new algorithm, which was aimed in particular at protecting minors from pornography. A filter function can at the same time censor all searches in the image search.
Google Images in practice
You can search for images with Google by entering your keyword or search phrase in the search bar. This will give you a thumbnail view of all the images that match your search query. Once you click on a thumbnail, the image will appear in the original context of a website and additional information such as the image source and dimensions will be displayed. When closing the box, the image will be displayed in its original size.
Reverse Image Search
With the introduction of a new search function, you can now also use Google Image Search by uploading your own image or by specifying an image URL.
Reverse search has another practical advantage, since it also can be used to identify graphic material protected by copyright and illegally copied In Internet.
Google image search is a way for SEOs to increase the visibility of a web portal in a sustainable way. On the one hand, images offer the possibility of increasing the uniqueness of a website and the relevance of specific keywords in terms of optimizing a page and, on the other, a good ranking in Google Images for additional traffic. In the case of online stores, this will ultimately contribute to conversions.
Special rules apply for image optimization. Since crawlers read most text items, the emphasis in images is on using all relevant image tags and smart embedding in content items.
For sites with many sources of images, it is recommended to provide a common XML Sitemap and a special sitemap for images in the Google Search Console. This increases the chance that all image URLs will be received. Similarly, sitemap images can also be entered into Google Bing Webmaster Tools. It is often the case that robots cannot crawl all images on a website due to insufficient capacity.