The past few months have represented the quiet death of an SEO error. There was no fanfare, no mournful songs were played and no beautiful, young wives stood weeping by the casket. It was a death that had more whimper than bang. At first, we thought it was an aberration, surely it could be revived? Alas, no amount of triage has restored this once powerful SEO for Business technique to its former glory. Let us here at Wikimotive help you come to terms with the death.
The death of image SEO.
Google updated image search results on January 23, and since then image related search referrals have crashed. According to DefineMG, the average site lost about 63% of search referrals from images. Sites in photo-heavy industries (e.g. fashion) lost as much as 80% of their image search referrals. Here is a graph to illustrate just how bad it is:
WHY THE CRASH?
The old image SEO, if you remember, would load the website in the background when you clicked on a picture in the results. This meant that every click on an image was a visit to the site. The new method is far, far less inviting. When a picture is clicked in results, it simply expands the picture right there on the page. To navigate to the website proper, you have to click a little “Visit Page” button.
Google is claiming that this decrease in traffic is simply a decrease in bad traffic, and that valuable visits are actually at a high. Only time and conversion analytics will tell us if this is true. In the meantime, we can only work with the numbers we have, and those numbers are saying image SEO has flatlined.