Google’s Web Search Algorithm doesn’t Care What’s in an Image.

3 min read
Google doesnt care about the image

No matter how much time you take out to create your image graphic, google doesn’t care about the colors and graphics you put in because google only cares about the structured data markup.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a high-resolution photo or an image of some random animal; the SEO value it adds to the page is the same.

This is covered in the Search Central SEO hangout with Google’s John Mueller, which was recorded on October 22.

Andrew Sychev, the owner of a website, joins the Q&A to ask Mueller about using placeholder images in conjunction with lazy loading.

Sychev’s website is configured to display images further down a page as grey squares until a visitor begins scrolling.

When a visitor gets closer to the picture on the page, the grey square is replaced by an actual picture.

This is made to better page speed and to preclude a page from shifting around in a visitor’s browser, which can occur when a large number of images are loaded at once.

Sychev wonders if there’s any harm in using this setup because Googlebot doesn’t interact with web pages and thus won’t see the images.

While this question is about using lazy loading to improve cumulative layout shift (CLS), Mueller’s answer applies to SEO in general.

Would using your own photos improve a page’s SEO value more than using generic stock images?

Can Google tell if an image contains useful data, such as a graph or infographic?

All of these are common questions about images and web search—and here’s the answer.

“I don’t think we care, to be quite honest. I don’t think for web search we look at the specific images on the page and say oh this is a nice image and this is a boring image.

We basically use those images in image search and that’s where we care what the content of the images care. But within web search we don’t really care if it’s a gray square or if it’s a picture of a beach.”

Source- Search engine journal

Google doesn’t care what’s in your photos because it only applies to web searches, not image searches.

Google is only interested in signals like structured data and alt text.

That is important for web search because it can help Google better understand the page.

Mueller emphasizes that structured data communicates all of the information required by Google.

“It sounds okay. I think for the core web vital side, the CLS side, that’s something you can test where you try it in one way or the other way. With regards to indexing what is important is that we have information about the images on those pages.

So what you can do if you’re not sure if your lazy loading is recognized by Google is use the image structured data. On the pages themselves, give us the structured data for those images and then we can definitely pick that up.”


But this is only limited to the Google search algorithm, not the google image search algorithm. Also, visuals are important assets to attract and leave a mark on your audience so don’t confuse it with not using images in your web pages instead add alt text and structured data markup to them.

There are numerous reasons for using an image, which I will outline here, but let me begin with the most important.

Having an image makes your content visually appealing, but only if you use the right image to convey your message. Your image should be relevant to the context of the article and in some way related to it.

Images help people understand what you’re saying. If you’re writing a food blog post, for example, including a few screenshots of food and recipes will help your reader understand, share and crave the post better.

When readers see how well you’ve combined text and graphics, it demonstrates how much you care about providing value. They will appreciate your efforts even more if you use custom illustrations, infographics, or diagrams. Such posts appear more professional because a lot of effort has been put into them – much more than simply writing text.