Google Search Results Image Preview Update

Several users have reported seeing Google include previews of images for its search results page. The search results page may no longer be all texts in the future.

Google consistently conducts A/B testing and multivariate testing for its Google search results page.

In its latest tests seen by users in December 2020, Google is providing previews of images found on the webpages when users perform a search.

This is big news as the “all text” result format may finally get a major revamp.

Google Search Results Update

  1. Under the title and right before meta description, there is a new “image” or  “text”  icon.
  2. Upon hovering or clicking on the icon, users will be shown previews of a few images or lengthened text snippets that can be found on the page (Note: it is not preview of the webpage). 
Google Search Results Image Preview

Is it good for UX?

This update essentially creates an information cue that has never appeared on a Google search results page before.

This information cue provides users more information in the early stage of the information foraging process. It provides a hint of what the webpage is like, thus saving time by reducing the need to click on the webpage if the images are not relevant to the information need.

While this feature may improve the user experience of the search process and reduce bounce rates on websites, it may also reduce traffic to websites.

What do you need to do?

To leverage on this new feature that may be rolled out permanently in the coming months:

  • Make sure that the images, other than text, you use are relevant to your webpage.
  • Customize images for each of your webpages.
  • The images you use should be attractive and moderately informative enough to entice users to click on your page.

Have you seen this update or did you see other updates that we should know? Let us know in the comment section below.


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