It’s been a busy year for Google with 2018 seeing more significant updates than any year before it. Naturally, Google’s text-based organic and paid search have had the most attention since they are the companies flagship products, but that’s not to say that its other verticles are not working equally as hard to improve their user experience.
Google’s 3rd biggest search engine (Behind Google & YouTube) Google Images has had some interesting updates added to it this year.
Firstly, Google Images now has a paid search option for advertisers to purchase ad space within the images search result pages (SERPs). You can read about in this post, Google Shop Enabled Image Ads Have Arrived.
Now it’s the latest update has finally gone live with the ability to index additional image metadata embedded in the image by devices. The new feature will show on images containing author and copyright metadata. Which is expected to help drive more traffic to image hosting sites.
Google has coordinated with international standards organizations to show copyright and author information in Google images.
Why You Should Consider Adding IPTC Metadata
Adding metadata will help boost the likelihood of your image being discovered via Google images. Which is important to individuals and organizations that monetize their images as it will help drive more traffic. This new update will also aid in eCommerce as it is ideal for those who create custom retail products.
“Employing IPTC metadata standards in Google Images results will help ensure proper attribution of credit and support photographers’ copyright, while also boosting the discoverability of content and creators. This is a win for the professional photo community.”
What is Image Metadata?
The IPTC Photo Metadata Standard is data that is embedded within the photograph itself. The metadata is purposely embedded in the image yet is not automatically present in every image. The creator and credit metadata needs to be present in order for Google Images to display it.
Devices like Smartphones and Digital Cameras often embed metadata to images automatically but this not always the case. While formats like scanned images or illustrations will need to have manual intervention.
What Image Metadata is Google Showing?
Google will begin showing the data about the image’s creator, a credit line and a copyright notice. The credit line is a line of text that the image owner/creator requires to be shown when the image is displayed on Google Images.
Site owners and SEO’s who want to take advantage of Google Image search will need to make sure images are correctly optimised and hosting metadata in the correct format.
Often times, as images are compressed for web, use their metadata is stripped to reduced sizes while CMS’s like WordPress may also do it at times. You will need to make sure your current image hosting practices do not strip out image metadata and if they do, adjust them accordingly.
How to Add IPTC Photo Meta Data
A digital images metadata can still be updated even after an image has been taken or edited. The IPTC metadata is embedded within the code that makes a digital image. The official IPTC standards page lists the following tools as capable of adding the photo metadata:
- “Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom
- The free image manipulation tool GIMP – see their docs
- Photographer tools such as ACDSee Pro, FotoStation, PhotoMechanic and the Digital Asset Management system Extensis Portfolio
- For the more technical, the command-line ExifTool can be run in a script to update many images at the same time.”
Opportunity for SEOs
Now that Google images will start to provide metadata information it gives SEO’s a huge opportunity to connect with the relevant sources or outreach and deep linking purposes.
It also presents an additional optimisation opportunity to improve discoverability and build authority within image SERPs.
So in addition to using alt text, image descriptions and image XML sitemaps you can now use metadata in images to technically optimise your content better than your competition.
If you want to know more about search engine marketing for your site, don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us