The Google images experiment has been running for 4 days, and so far, just two of the ten images published in the previous post (laying out the details of the experiment) have been indexed; namely the purple image and the gray image.
Getting Google to own up to indexing the gray image requires advanced search options, it is revealed for searches of black and white and gray images:
There are some early takeaways from the experiment so far:
- Google chose to index just two of the available images in the post, a purple image and a gray image. This might suggest that galleries of images are not a good idea for SEO, as some of those images might not make it into the index. This could have been caused by the naming convention I used in the test – most images had very similar filenames – so perhaps the indexing of just two of a page full of test images is to be expected ? Galleries may cause Google to make a choice about which image to index and relate to the content…
- Looking back at the number of results in Google for different coloured images, it is interesting to notice that there were only 55k purple results and 61k gray results… perhaps this is why those two images were chosen and indexed by Google, to boost the number of available search results for those colours (purple and gray)? As with keyword research for universal search results, picking under-competed image types could provide quick wins…
What else is interesting so far ?
Searching using the keyword ‘experiment’ and then filtering for ‘large’ images and selecting ‘purple’ images shows our test image in #1 as might have been predicted ! After all, it was a large purple image with ‘experiment’ in both the filename and alt text.
The other images in the search results had the following filenames:
So the obvious difference is that the test image had the keyword ‘purple’ as well as well as the word ‘experiment’ in the filename.
What about the gray image ?
It appears in position #4 in SERPs when using the same filters:
The competitive images for this search have the following filenames:
So, on closer inspection the images at the top of the SERPs are all from authority sites… Journal of Physiology, two .edu sites and a .gov
The test image from this blog for the keyword ‘experiment’ performs quite well given the competition here !
By searching specifically for ‘gray experiment’, the image performs better and is returned in #1:
Positions #2 and #3 discuss the YouTube ‘gray’ channel theme.
At this stage, not many more insights are possible so I will return to this experiment in a few days time when more of the original set of images may have been indexed.