Visual content on Google offers “massive potential” for SEO-centric marketing campaigns and is often overlooked as a viable method for driving organic traffic, according to the search engine giant’s Webmaster Trends Analyst Gary Illyes.
During a Reddit AMA last week, Illyes said that media search is currently “way too ignored” by both Google and brands. He noted that marketers capable of publishing high-quality images, infographics and videos should tap into the vast potential to get a head start on competitors.
Illyes said last Friday: “We simply know that media search is way too ignored for what it’s capable doing for publishers so we’re throwing more engineers at it as well as more outreach.”
Illyes was then asked about the most overlooked factors in search and he responded by stating that the vast majority of SEOs do not pay attention to Google Images or Video Search as they are not featured on the core search engine rankings page.
Illyes also noted that Google uses image recognition as a relevancy signal, so brands actually benefit from using visuals that align with the content of an article or blog. While it can be tempting to use random GIFs or memes to engage readers, the use of visuals that are not directly relevant can work against SEO efforts.
Finally, Illyes confirmed that improving web accessibility does not have a direct impact on the ranking of images and videos in search, even if it makes content more readable and enhances the user experience for certain audiences.