Google Is Testing Embedded Images In Search Results Snippets

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SEJ reader Samuel Edwards, from Tenthwave Digital, gave us a heads up about something he recently spotted while doing a Google search. Google appears to be testing embedded images in the snippets of web search results.

Samuel discovered this while doing a search for ‘Flower Beauty Facebook’ and found snippets contained embedded images of profile photos of the respective Facebook pages. Check out the photo above to see how it looks like.

So far this appears to still be in the testing stages, which makes it hard to tell how widespread it will be in the future. At this point it’s at least worth noting Google is working on bringing something new to web search results.

As we know from Google Authorship markup, snippets containing images tend to get a higher click-through rate, which makes this a particularly appealing feature for website owners. Having images embedded in rich snippets of pages that don’t have authorship or semantic markup would be a great way to drive traffic without any extra effort.

Not to mention having more images in search results is an effective way to improve user experience for everyone, not just SEOs and website owners.

It will be interesting to see how this feature ends up being used in the future. I’ll be sure to update with more information if any becomes available.

Matt Southern

Matt Southern

Lead News Writer
Matt Southern is the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing flows through in the expert industry coverage he provides.
Matt Southern
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  • Mike Kern

    I have not seen this yet, and I think it will be limited. I could see embedded images stealing click share from their paid ads, and this they simply would not tolerate.

    • Anders Borg

      Then they need to put pictures in those as well, controlled by the advertiser of course.

      The question for search results is how to control what picture is actually shown.

  • Vin Dicarlo

    I haven’t seen this too But If it happen then it would be great!!

  • Dave Sottimano

    Good point Mike – although I really like the look of this.

    • Mike Kern

      I really like the look too. Even more, I like being the only result on the page with a picture! It definitely drives more clicks. I think spot two on the SERPS will get more clicks than spot one, if two is the only one with an image.

  • Ngah Benoit

    I haven’t noticed it yet but I really think it is a cool and good idea and I like what google is doing. For me, the display page looks more attractive with images by the site. I hope the finally implement it soon

  • Aditya Khanna

    I haven’t seen this too. Lets see if they implement this

  • Rupsa Bose

    Hello Matt Southern,

    This is a very interesting topic you have discussed. Although it has not been launched yet therefore maximum of us hasn’t been experienced it ,but if the implementation of this feature can be done it will be really a very helpful tool for user. Therefore success of this feature is not questionable. As any search engine can not read the content of an image it will be a big challenge to read that code and show that respective result in organic search.
    Thanks for this very informative article .

  • Swastika

    Yup, it is still in testing mode since I don’t see any image on the Google SERP when search using the same keyword. I can’t wait to see such attractive view of Google SERP. The quality of the image could possibly change user’s preference to click the link.

  • Kelsey @ Brosix

    Haven’t come across this yet, But its would really useful and appealing looking at the screenshot above.

  • Jake Fell

    Seems like a good idea. Not sure if website owners, bloggers and such would want it though. I personally think its a great idea and could possibly give the user a better sense for what they are looking for when searching on Google. Would be great to see it soon.