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Hacking Google Lens for SEO

10.06.20 05:53 PM By Rob

This post is based on an article published by Brian Dean from BackLinko. 

You are probably familiar with Google lens, if not i will start by explaining what it is.

According to the official Play store listing, "Google Lens is an app that let's you search for what you want to see, get things done faster and understand the world around you - using just your camera or a photo".

Google Lens, released in 2017, is an AI powered technology that uses your smartphone camera and deep learning to detect an object in front of the camera and perform a number on context based searches to provide a variety of results, from object identification, shopping, and geolocation based information.


What can Google Lens do?

Translate words you see, save a business card to your contacts, add events to your calendar from a poster and copy and paste complicated codes or long paragraphs into your phone to save time.

Find out what that plant is in your friend's apartment or what kind of dog you saw in the park.

Identify and learn about landmarks, restaurants and storefronts. See ratings, hours of operation, historical facts and more.

See an outfit that catches your eye? Or a chair that's perfect for your living room? Find similar clothes, furniture and home decor to the one you like.

See popular dishes on a restaurant menu based on reviews from Google Maps.

Quickly scan QR codes and barcodes.

How can Google Lens help your SEO

For the answer we turn to a recently published article by Brian Dean from Backlinko who performed a massive in-depth analysis of Google Lens Search results to understand how visual search works.

I have copied the key findings below. Follow the links on this page to read the full article.

1. 32.5% of all Google Lens results have a “matching” keyword in the page’s title tag. Therefore, keyword-optimized title tags may help a page rank in Google Lens.

2. A high proportion of Google Lens results are pulled from images high up on a page. In fact, approximately 1/3rd of all Google Lens image results appear in the top 25% of a web page.

3. 11.4% of all Google Lens result images contain alt text terms that match the keyword someone just searched for.

4. Authoritative pages and websites appear to have a ranking advantage in Google Lens. Google Lens results have an average Moz Page Authority of 35.2 and a Domain Authority of 64.4.

5. Google Lens may confer a ranking advantage to sites that work well on mobile devices. 90.6% of all Google Lens results come from mobile-friendly websites.

6. Google Lens results come from relatively slow-loading pages. In fact, the average First Contentful Paint load time for a Google Lens result is 3,186ms.

7. Pinterest and Amazon are the two top-performing websites in Google Lens. 7.2% of all Google Lens results come from Pinterest, while 4.1% are from Amazon.

8. Keyword-rich URLs correlate with Google Lens rankings. 29.9% of the Google Lens results in our analysis had an associated keyword in the page’s URL.

9. Responsive images don’t appear to confer a major ranking advantage in Google Lens. Only 13.1% of Google Lens images are responsive.

10. Images with filenames that “match” a Google Lens search appear to rank more often than images with a missing or irrelevant filename. We found that 22.6% of Google Lens result images had a filename that matched the Google Lens search.

11. Websites that rank seem to have an edge in Google Lens. We discovered that 15% of all Google Lens results also rank on the first page of Google organic for the same search term.

12. The average visual search result page contains 1,631 words. Considering that Google uses text around an image to understand an image’s content and context, this finding makes sense.

What does it mean for your site

The article goes into great detail about how the Google Lens and its API works and the results of the analysis and explains how image 'ALT' Tags can really help your results be included in the information returned by google. 

Google Lens results, of course have a high Domain Authority and page rank, and are highly optimised for Mobile results. If you properly optimise the images on your website then you can also gain this benefit.

Many of the image results returned in Google lens come from Pinterest, so it is worth including Pinterest in your marketing strategy.

Keywords in the file name are also important and help relevant images appear in the results, so focus your optimisation efforts here.

Read the article here for all the information and the full results of the analysis.   


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