Since the arrival of Google Lens and Pinterest Lens, there has been a battle for visual search engine supremacy. This new technology has the ability to completely change consumer habits and purchasing decisions. Consumers are already living in a world of instant gratification, visual search can allow ‘snap and surf’ purchasing. Businesses that embrace this technology are set to capitalise by the changing habits of consumers. We take a look at visual search and how will the development of visual search affect SEO?
What is ‘visual search’?
Originally, visual search meant using your eyes to look and locate something of interest. People (as they still do now of course) would have searched the web for text to discover a particular item they were looking to purchase for example. Fast forward to 2018, visual search is more about AI (Artificial Intelligence). Visual search processes used by the main search engines can be broken down into three areas:
- Pixel-by-pixel image searches that allow ‘snap and search’ by image or parts of an image.
- Traditional image search that relies upon textual queries.
- Reverse image search that relies on structured data to determine similar characteristics.
How will the development of visual search affect SEO?
Consumers will benefit from not having to type their search into a search engine. However, as a result of popular networks such as Facebook, search engines are already capable of indexing images and ranking them. To make effective use of images, they need to be optimised by creating SEO-friendly image titles, SEO-friendly alt text, image sitemaps and original image content. Using these features alongside effective web design will help a website stand out from the competition by achieving better search engine results. There are numerous other reasons why SEO is important for small businesses. Furthermore, understanding the relationship between web design and SEO is important.
What does this mean for the future?
As technology improves, visual search will be able to offer some huge advancements in the way people make buying decisions. Imagine if you could take a picture of a restaurant and then allow a search engine to advise you the name of that restaurant. Likewise, a list of reviews and the restaurant’s menu. Consequently, the consumer could make a much more informed decision. This technology could also enable you to take a picture of a shirt. Search for that shirt and then purchase it instantly.
Get in contact with us here at Regency today to make the best use of your website with SEO.