Thursday, July 18, 2024

Google’s Small but Significant Update to Image SEO Best Practices

Google has lately made a small as well as noteworthy update to its image SEO best practices documentation. The update is in the “Use HTML image elements to embed images” section. It might appear minor, but carries important implications for web developers and SEO professionals.

Gagan Ghotra spotted the change first and shared it on the X platform. He noted that “Google updates page about image SEO best practices.” The guidance earlier read: “Using standard HTML image elements helps crawlers find and process images. Google parses the HTML img elements in your pages to index images, but doesn’t index CSS images.” The revised version reads: “Using standard HTML image elements helps crawlers find and process images. Google can find images in src attribute of img element (even when it’s a child of other elements, such as the picture element). Google doesn’t index CSS images.”

The difference in wording might not be noticed at a first glance. However, the shift from “parses the HTML img elements” to “find images in src attribute of img element” reflects a clarification. The focus now is on the src attribute within the img element. It underlines the importance of how images are embedded in the HTML. The change emphasizes crawlers of the Google are specifically looking for the src attribute when indexing images. Hence, it can impact how web developers structure their HTML and highlight the importance of using standard HTML image elements. It is suggested not to rely on CSS for image embedding.

Understanding the nuances can have a impact on the SEO performance. Proper image embedding with the use of HTML ensures that Google can find and index your images. Hence, it can improve the site’s visibility in image search results.

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