Google has launched a new update to Image Search, that is supposed to show more information about the pictures that users are searching for. For instance, you might see information from Google’s Knowledge Graph related to that result, telling users what they are seeing, a feature which used to belong to Google Search only.
What is a Knowledge Graph?
A Knowledge Graph is Google’s way of collecting information and creating interconnected search results in order to make them more accurate. It is like a repository of information, whose key facts are surfaced and shown in knowledge panels as a simplified way to get information. Knowledge panels are information boxes which are generally presented next to search results. They usually include a title and short summary of the topic, a longer description of the subject, pictures about the person, place or thing the user is searching for, key facts about the topic and links to other websites or social media profiles.
Example of a knowledge panel
How the Google Image Update Works
Underneath a photo you will find a drop-down menu showing more details about the search. This includes information about people, things or places most related to that photo. You will also find a short description and a series of related topics. All this information is taken from the Knowledge Graph and it is meant to give some context and explain what the image is about. In Google’s own words: “to generate these links to relevant Knowledge Graph entities, we take what we understand about the image through deep learning, which evaluates an image’s visual and text signals, and combine it with Google’s understanding of the text on the image’s web page. This information helps us determine the most likely people, places or things relevant to a specific image. We match this with existing topics in the Knowledge Graph, and then surface them in Google Images when we’re confident we’ve found a match.”
This feature is currently available only for mobile users in the US and for a few images, but it will probably expand to more languages, images and services in the future.
What Does This Mean For Your Business
This update gives you an opportunity to drive more traffic to your website. By giving more information about an image, Google is also giving people more chances to click on the image source. However, keep in mind that the “quick facts” and the images come from different sources across the web. Therefore, you will only have an advantage if your website is able to be included in Google’s Knowledge Graph. If this is the case, there’s a higher chance of your content being surfaced in search results.
Therefore, if you own a source that Google might be using to showcase information in the Knowledge Panel, you might see more traffic coming from Google Images since users might be clicking on them to go to your website and get more information about the image they were looking for.