New Opportunities within Google Images & Google Image Search in 2019
In the beginning of this year, John Mueller and Gary Illyes announced that Google would be focusing more resources on a number of improvements related to Google Images and Google Image Search.
Mueller said that image search will be a “bigger topic” this year for the webmaster and SEO community. He said instead of thinking about how image search works now, where maybe people can find images to include in their presentations for office meetings — instead think about searchers using image search in a different way.
Searchers may start using image search to accomplish tasks, complete goals, buy online, learn something new and more. The change in searcher behavior will have SEOs and webmasters thinking differently about how they optimize for image search.
While John and Gary's announcements came in January 2019 the push towards improvements to Image Search really started at the end of 2018 when Google began upping its game with changes to the image search page layout and functionality. So, let me explain those changes first.
Big Changes to Google's Image Search Results Layout
Starting in late 2018, before all the new additions announced at Google I/O, the physical layout and functionality of Google Image Search changed in two very important ways.
Image View - A New Right Frame Format for Image Viewing
The old image search page gave users a lightbox style layout whenever they clicked on an image. Image credit: SEJ
Now, in the new layout, the lightbox is gone. Instead, when users click on an image, a right side panel appears (think frames for those old enough to remember).