April 04th 2022

How Does Google Lens Impact SEO?

How Does Google Lens Impact SEO?

Google Lens started as a relative niche product that many people did not even know their phones contained. However, it’s becoming much more widely used. As a result, many business owners and marketing professionals wonder what impact Google Lens could have on search engine optimisation (SEO). Here’s a closer look at the possibilities.

Succeeding When Sticking to the Basics

Something to keep in mind is that developing an SEO strategy for Google Lens probably won’t mean doing away with all the techniques used for ranking highly in non-visual searches. One study assessed more than 65,000 Google Lens search results to identify some valuable trends.

One of them was that 90.6% of the results came from mobile-optimized websites. The researchers noted that Google’s algorithms might give an advantage to Lens results coming from such destinations.

A significant percentage of search results examined also had keyword-rich URLs, the study indicated. More specifically, 29.9% of them had a keyword in the associated address.

Having authoritative content on the page also seems to matter. The data showed that Google Lens search results had average scores of 35.2 for Moz Page Authority and 64.4 for Domain Authority.

Where the images appear on a page also matters for Google Lens search results. The breakdown showed that approximately one-third of the pictures were in the top 25% of a webpage’s content. Together, these findings give people some idea of what they might do to increase the chances of Google Lens helping their SEO strategies. However, SEO professionals should also stay abreast of other best practices as they emerge.

Redefining What It Means to Search for Information

Keyword usage has changed a lot in a relatively short period. For example, there’s currently a lot of emphasis on helping people search with natural-sounding phrases and language. Sometimes they utter those, and in other cases, they’ll type them into a search bar.

However, as Google Lens becomes more capable, people’s smartphone cameras will likely factor heavily into search queries and the associated results, too. Google published a blog post about Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which is a new search technology. It reportedly currently understands text and image inputs, and Google plans to expand it to work with audio and video.

The campaign gave an example where a person could take a picture of hiking boots. From there, they could ask Google if those particular boots would work well for an upcoming mountain-climbing excursion. It also could help people determine which gear would be best for them if they already have some supplies from previous outings but want to hike a more-challenging mountain soon.

Google rewards internet content that’s beneficial for users. That was true before people became more concerned with bringing Lens into SEO plans, and it remains the case now. Even if the ways users find information change, they’ll still appreciate it when the content that comes up in search results is truly useful. Google will keep rewarding such material by ranking it well, too.

Opening Google Lens SEO Opportunities With Augmented Reality

A recent video presentation by Emodo Institute about 5G on smartphones included survey data showing that 82% of respondents who owned an iPhone 12 were more excited about that phone than previous releases. Perhaps that’s because it was the first of Apple’s smartphones to support the 5G network.

Apple is not the only company to create 5G-capable smartphones. As these gadgets become more popular, you should begin thinking about how your SEO strategy could target people who own them. One possibility is by creating augmented reality (AR) experiences associated with your company. 5G phones offer faster speeds and lower latency, both of which should make AR even better.

James McGarrie, is an SEO strategist at The Brains, a full-service digital marketing agency. He explained, “Augmented reality and the metaverse will play a huge part in future SEO strategies. As we know, Google values content that serves a purpose to its users and ranks it accordingly.”

McGarrie continued, “To use AR and the metaverse to a businesses’ advantage, we are going to have to consider how we not only create viable SEO strategies to appeal to the metaverse but also the content to drive the engagement to businesses in this virtual world. We see huge potential in this space and, despite it being in its infancy, AR, VR and the Metaverse will surely play a significant role in SEO and user’s search experience in the not too distant future.”

Driving Local Searches Related to Landmarks and Nearby Amenities

In a 2021 interview, Lou Wang, a Google Lens product manager, gave some ideas about the future of Google Lens for SEO by speaking about how searches are becoming more image-driven. Wang confirmed, “So, we have integrations with products like Google Photos, Google Image Search, and that’s been very successful because it’s just naturally where people are looking at these things.

He said, “Another thing that we are doing is making it part of the search experience. When people have these questions, we’ve become so used to having an idea and then translating [it] into keywords to tell Google, right? And so, just as the microphone is now there, in terms of being able to ask Google a question, we’re moving the camera closer to the search box.”

Elsewhere, Wang discussed a Lens campaign in the UK that lets people point their phones at landmarks in the area and get information about them. That could impact SEO if business owners in an area get familiar with its most-searched-for landmarks and tailor their messaging accordingly.

For example, a restaurant might use keywords such as “have lunch near [landmark]” or “places to eat near [landmark]” to capitalize on people searching for those things after discovering or rediscovering places in the area.

Staying Flexible as SEO Evolves

This overview sheds light on how important it is to make a search engine optimization strategy as responsive to changes as possible. When plans address the possibility of major changes affecting how people find information, it’ll be easier for business teams to ensure they’re ready for Google Lens and any other technologies that arise.

Eleanor is the founder and managing editor of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. 

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