Does an image optimized according to the Search Console Help Recommendations outrank an unoptimized image for Image search?

There hasn't been much discussion around ranking your images better in the image results. Generally, there are two Google sources on optimizing images for image search:


- https://developers.google.com/web/fundamentals/performance/optimizing-content-efficiency/image-optimization 

- https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/114016?hl=en 


Does following the Google guidelines for image optimization actually help rank your images better in the image results? We decided to shed light on the topic and do our tests to get to the truth. Stay tuned for more!

We set up the test like this..

Hypothesis: An image optimized according to the Search Console Help Recommendations will rank better in Google Image Results than an image that is not optimized.


In Google Search Console Help, it is recommended that descriptive titles, captions, filenames, alt text, and text around the image should be used:

As a test setup, two identical pages were created and lightly optimized for the same fake keyword. On each of the pages, an image was inserted - one image was optimized with the keyword titles, captions, filenames, alt text, and text around the image.  The image on the other page had only optimized text around the image.


Here is what we discovered

We began by testing 3 images.  The images were obtained through an advanced image search so they were not unique. The results were mixed, so we decided to try again with unique images.


We used 3 images, this time unique - and once again the results were mixed.


On our last try, we used 6 unique images.  The final results stayed consistently inconsistent:

Final Takeaway

These results were surprising to say the least.  Everybody knows the signals above are the things you are supposed to do when optimizing an image.  Any basic SEO guide will give you these as "image optimization" tips and as stated, so does Google.


However, there is clearly more to the story: getting text on the page is just about as effective as optimizing the image in the manner described in this test.


If you’re interested in getting involved as a tester, we will show you exactly how to set up and run the tests using a scientific method. You will even get paid and get FULL credit amongst the group of over 1500 digital professionals to boost your reputation and authority. Just shoot an email to support@internetmarketing.gold, and we’ll support you in becoming the next SEO tester.