Google to trial the use of thumbnail images in the search results
Google have announced that they are currently testing the use of thumbnail images within their search results, similarly to how thumbnails are implemented into the Google News platform. These thumbnail images are being trialled across both the search engine results page (SERP), and within the Google Suggest drop-down.
Thumbnail images will present as cropped square versions of any featured images present on articles and landing pages within the search results; however, not all sites will get a thumbnail. While the exact conditions behind what qualifies image thumbnails to be displayed alongside pages in the search results has not yet been disclosed by Google, it is likely that featured images on pages will not be shown within the search results if the image either has an unconventional aspect ratio, or is not wide enough.
Featured images may also need to be declared in the page’s structured data, or included within an open graph protocol meta tag, in order to be displayed as a thumbnail image within the search results. Image requirements will likely be specified by the Google team should they choose to move forward with this feature in the future.
The use of thumbnail images is a feature that has previously proved successful when used upon the Google News platform, so it is not unlikely that this type of feature be introduced to more mainstream search results in the future. The use of images in the search engine results may work to make platforms more user friendly, so sites should begin looking into the use of featured images on their website articles and landing pages; this can be a great way to help your business get in front of your competitors.
Learn more about what you can be doing to help your site’s important pages get in front of your potential customers with our landing page optimisation services, helping you to perform better in the search results and stay ahead of your competitors.
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