We were incredibly excited by Google’s recently announced plans to shine more light on image search. You can read Ryan’s awesome blog post, Google’s Visual Search Updates Up The Ante On Image Optimisation to learn more about this thrilling new move.

Regardless of your industry, it now seems clear that using your own images will give you a leg up on your competition.

Since then, we’ve also heard from a Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google that every webpage should have a unique image. This article will dig further into this news and look at how we can act on Google’s new messaging around SEO for imagery.

In a recent Webmaster Central office-hours hangout, Google’s John Mueller confirmed that, when faced with a number of sites featuring the same press release and photos, the search engine will show a preference for a site with unique images. According to Mueller, “you’re kind of in the same group with everyone else if it’s the same photo. Whereas if it’s a different photo, then we can show it separately in image search.”

This does not necessarily mean that the site will rank higher in the SERPs, but in Google’s typically enigmatic way, it doesn’t mean that it won’t help either. Mueller alluded to this potential saying that “sometimes good images show up as well in the normal search results…if you have a chance to have your own images, I think that’s definitely worthwhile.”

Unique Imagery is Key For SEO

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Photo credit: rawpixel

So, what can we take away from this new information?

Regardless of your industry, it now seems clear that using your own images will give you a leg up on your competition. This could mean taking your own photography for product pages rather than using a brand’s stock photos. Or if your site features press releases, taking the time to commission photos of the news story in question that are unique to your site.


As Ryan mentions in his post, SEO image optimisation can be a real pain in the neck to implement. So, how do you know if the task will pay off for you? From Google’s recent updates, it seems there is no avoiding the need for fresh imagery on your site. If you are running an eCommerce site especially, chances are that you will need to take the time to action this in your upcoming SEO marketing plans.

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