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September 19, 2018

New Google Sitelinks With Image Thumbnails

Recently, Google has been displaying image thumbnails alongside sitelinks to further enrich search results and promote easier navigation to and from relevant sites. While we have already seen large thumbnail images next to a brief description from a relevant website, this update means that we are now seeing additional smaller thumbnail images underneath the snippet instead, sourced from the website itself. Here’s what we know.

Are Image Thumbnails Beneficial?

Google has always had a heavy focus on user experience and so by providing a visual understanding of a result or potential search query, they are helping to speed up the process of choosing the right site without bouncing in and out of irrelevant results. Already, the new changes by Google have seemingly proven to be very useful by around 91%of users, so it may be an update that we could see sticking around.

The larger image thumbnail which appears next to the top ten snippets are still fairly recent to SERPs, but the smaller thumbnail images helps the user to further determine what to expect and, therefore, the relevance of the search result.

How Can Your Images Help With SEO?

You need to make sure that any images that you want to appear next to your SERP listing are described clearly in your HTML using alt tags. This way, Google can identify them as a relevant image in mobile search. If you use Schema mark-up, you can better tailor your content descriptions, and therefore images thumbnails, to appear as part of rich snippets. These snippets need to be quality pieces of content to be liked by Google and be near the top of searched results.

The image thumbnails below these snippets for your page are a great way to entice users onto your website and keep them on there. Due to the user more confidently knowing that the website they are clicking on contains all the information that they need. In order for your thumbnail images to appear next to your snippet and sitelink at the top of search results, you will need to ensure that they are a precise representative of your content, in addition to being a user-friendly image that encourages users to click on your sitelink and visit your website.

Are There Any Disadvantages To This Google Update?

As it isn’t live for every user yet, or for desktop use, it may be something that doesn’t advance further in terms of search. In fact, it still poses the risk of being deleted altogether depending on the response it receives. While it is too early to determine whether this is here to stay, preparing your website with better alt tags and Schema data may prove beneficial regardless by offering Google’s crawl bots a clearer path through your content.

As Google is updating and developing at such a rate, it is always exciting to see where Google will take us next, and how it will affect where our websites rank. If you’d like assistance with your SEO campaigns or developing your website for upcoming algorithm changes, get in touch with our team, today.



Connor Christopher

A love of IT and YouTube has led to Connor joining Absolute as an IT apprentice, where he is now a valued member of the Outreach team. Connor truly thrives as soon as he is in front of a computer, or on a football pitch. If he isn’t behind a keyboard and mouse, Connor can be found gaming on his PS4, watching Arsenal or playing with his pet dog Casper.

Email c.christopher@absolutedigitalmedia.com

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