Google Lens: what it is, how it works and what are the ranking factors

Google Lens: what it is, how it works and what are the ranking factors

Understand how Google Lens image search works, find out what your top ranking factors are, and access one of the most complete visual research studies ever done, now in Portuguese.

Do a search Google is about accessing the search page, entering a keyword and searching the results.

Today we are experiencing an extraordinary journey from this traditional process to new opportunities, more technological and more assertive.

We can already search for language, for images and we can even search without actually having to search !

One of the aspects that have contributed most to a more dynamic, visual and personal search is image optimization and increasing importance for search engines.

For this reason, prepare your website so that it is well rated in terms of search by the Google algorithm. Visual has never been so important.

For this reason, we are going to talk about Google Lens and all searches that are done exclusively through images throughout this content.

Follow us on the results of one of the largest studies done with the algorithm used by Google Lens and its main ranking factors, which Brian Dean advertised on the blog Backlinko .

What is Google Lens?

Google Lens is an image recognition tool that allows users to do this. Google searches using only one image as a “keyword”.

The function, which was announced for the first time in 2017, was initially integrated into the Google Pixel smartphone camera.

Then it was integrated into Google Assistant and Google. Photos for Android phones were only made available for all operating systems in 2018.

How does Google Lens work?

Lens’s ease of use is very intuitive and easy to use, just access the Google application, click the photo icon, take pictures of what you’re looking for, and voilà!

  Google Lens

The application recognizes the image through artificial intelligence and the results are provided images similar to those you used for the search.

Other functions

In addition to searching for pure and simple images, Google Lens also offers other functions, e.g. For example:

  • Translation : Photograph a plate, card or any text in a foreign language and select the “Translate” option in the lower menu.
  • Text scanning : Copy all the content written in books or sheets of paper to your computer or smartphone using this option. “
  • Shopping : Take a picture of an object or product that you want to buy and have You have access to a large list of shops that offer it in “Shopping”.
  • Restaurants : Select the “Food” option and see pictures of all available dishes while photographing a menu.

With the popularization of Google Lens, many SEOs were faced with the question: Is it possible to optimize a website for the SERP of images?

Brian Dean from Backlinko did a great study on visual search analysis of 65,338 search results in Google Lens to better understand how this ar Search doesn’t work and how Google evaluates its results.

Today we only bring the results of the largest visual search study ever conducted in the global SEO community!

Come on?

Possible ranking factors

Since there is no official document with optimization guidelines and best practices for Google Lens, Brian ini He began his study with possible ranking factors in connection with image optimization and evaluated their incidence in the 65,338 results analyzed.

The factors selected were:

  • title tags and URL;
  • Picture at the top of the page; [19659033] Alt text attribute;
  • Domain and page authority (DA and PA);
  • mobility friendliness;
  • FCP (First Contentful Paint);
  • Responsive Images;
  • file name; [19659033] Contents of the page on which the picture is located.

Let us now complete the analysis of each one of them.

The keyword in the title tag correlates strongly with the rankings.

In Google Lens your word -key is your picture, right?

Imagine, however, that the technology behind the tool, when it recognizes this image, links it to a word and uses that word to select the results that are displayed for this search.

That’s exactly what Brian did with API Goog le Vision to convert images into text-based keywords.

Visual search terms, which were converted into text, enabled a deeper analysis of technical factors such as title tag and URL of the page on which the images returned in the results were:

This resulted in the study that 32.5% of the pages classified on Google Lens have in their title tag the keyword that corresponds to the label given to them by Google Vision.

See the following example:

The key word that Google Vision sees as the following image is [tesla cybertruck].


The following page was placed first for the image search [tesla cybertruck] and this keyword naturally appears in its title tag


Google previously had information on the use of keywords in the page title as a publishes ranking factor.


(“We use a large number of sources for this information, including descriptive information in the title and meta tags for each page”)

In other words, Brian Dean concludes that Google Prefer images that are on pages that are entirely related to the image you are looking for and those that appear to be random or irrelevant.

Images placed at the top of the page take precedence in SERP

Another important point , which is analyzed by Dean, is the positioning of the image within the page it is published on.

The conclusion is that 33% of Google Lens results are images that are on top of this Pages appear – more specifically within the first 25% of the page.

For example:

One of the images searched for in the study was:

When we looked at the page on which this card is located, we notice that the image appears immediately after the header.

This is further information that Google previously published in a post on its official blog about image optimization .

(“We now prioritize locations where the image is in the middle and at the top of the page”)

The alt text attribute has no significant meaning.

Although it is an old recommendation, Das SEO attribute alt text in the pictures does not seem to have a very significant relationship to the ranking of the websites on Google Lens.

Brian Dean’s study concluded that SEO and good practice are always repeated by Google only 11.4% of the analyzed results contained images with the descriptive alt-Tag attribute or the keyword, that was linked to the image from Google Vision.

This may be related to the fact that prior to some algorithm updates, alternate text was essential for Google to understand what an image was about. With the recognition of images by artificial intelligence, this attribute has lost its purpose today.

See the following example:

The keyword corresponding to the following image is [yoga poses].

The results of Lens below.

In this case, only 2 out of 4 results have an alternative text to the keyword.

Despite the low incidence, we recommend that the alt text attribute is still included in your images.

The results from Google Lens have great domain authority (DA).

The Domain The authority of a website is one of its greatest advantages when it comes to positioning itself prominently in SERP.

This is because in the struggle between two websites for a position, they are the same in terms of quality of content and other aspects. The final assessment will be that of the authority of these areas, and certainly those with the highest AD will be the best To have position.

When Brian Dean considered this, he analyzed the DA and PA of the 65,338 results included in his study and provided the following figures:

The DA and AP averages of these results are 64 and 35 .

Both numbers are very reasonable.

But, as Brian points out, we need to look at this data from a broader perspective.

The authority of a website or page is a direct consequence of the quality of the content and the number of good backlinks .

In the Google Images Good Practice document

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