According to Gary Illyes of Google, image and video search are typically the most overlooked, and that SEOs should be paying more attention to them.
This came up a number of times through his Reddit AMA on February 8.
Illyes even stated in his AMA thread, “Nowadays I’m focusing more on Google Images and Video.”
This statement was picked up on by a Reddit user and asked Illyes for more information on the way for image search for 2019.
Illyess said that he can’t pre-announce anything, but that media search is “way too ignored,” even for Google themselves.
Google will be tasking more engineers with working on media search this year.
This is Illyes’ full statement:
“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.”
This topic was touched on again further down the thread when a Reddit user asked: “Is there anything that most SEO’s tend to overlook/not pay attention to?”
This was when Illyes revealed that image and video search are the most overlook by SEOs.
Illyes said in his own words, “Google Images and Video search is often overlooked, but they have massive potential.”
More information relating to images were given during the AMA
When Illyes was asked, “Is Google’s image recognition technology used as a relevancy signal within the document selection algorithm within the index?” his simple response was, “Yea.”
Considering that image recognition is a relevancy signal, it’d make sense to use images with more tact. This means that using images that Google can easily recognize as being relevant to what’s being written about in piece of content.
There seems to be a tendancy to use random images to make content more engaging for readers, such as memes and GIFs.
It’s probably difficult for Google to recognize the relevance of those images, especially compared to something that’s more straightforward.
Even though it’s not a direct ranking factor, making images more accessible through elements like alt text is recommended.
The following question was asked:
“Will web accessibility be considered direct ranking factor for images and video rankings?”
Illyes responded with: “Unfortunately, no.”