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Stock Photography: Google On The Use Of Stock Photography

John Mueller and Lizzi Sassman from Google talk about the benefits of utilising stock photos and how it affects web and picture searches.

Are You looking for Google On The Use Of Stock Photography.

Key Points

  • Web search is not negatively impacted by stock photography.
  • Stock photography could struggle in image searches.

In a recent Search Off the Record podcast, two Google employees examined the usage of stock photos and looked at its relative advantages and disadvantages.

Both proponents and opponents of the usage of stock photos are many. Perhaps a point of agreement is that it might be improper in situations when readers might expect to see photographs of genuine persons, such “our team” pages.

But what are the opinions of those who oversee Google’s support materials?

The same issues that affect content publishers apply to Google employees as well.

Negative aspects of stock photography

To begin the conversation on stock imagery, Lizzi Sassman, the curator of Google’s Search Central documentation, first inquires as to whether there are any arguments against its use.

Mueller affirms that stock photography is acceptable for use in the context of enlivening textual context, but he also suggests that the image should be appropriate for the audience, such as not using overly gruesome images in the context of Google’s Search Central documentation, even though the context is Halloween.

Right, common sense?

Searching for images and stock photography

The Googlers will now talk about stock photography in relation to picture searches.

As a reminder, Mueller is talking about stock photos in the hypothetical setting of Search Central employing stock photos.

But, in my opinion, the issue there is that it’s stock photography.

Furthermore, it’s doubtful that we would appear in the search results if people were looking for Halloween pictures.

We would have that image, but I’m sure 20, 30, or more other sites already have it, and they all have the right to display it.

The image may even be found in the search results from the original stock photography website.

Additionally, you should definitely visit the source website if you’re looking for something specific, like a Halloween graphic.

Not that Google’s documentation ought to be in the results for that inquiry.

The second factor, I suppose, is that you wouldn’t rank for this in Image Search either, but that doesn’t matter either.

You have additional quality photographs on the website or on the same page, then. Conversely, if you’re referring to web searches, that won’t hurt your website.

Although it is only cosmetic, it is not the focus of your website.

Consequently, you won’t be ranked for that particular stock photo.

The rest, though, will go well.

We don’t say, “Oh, this is just a generic webpage. It shouldn’t be displayed in search.

Pros and Cons of Stock Photography

The Search Off the Record podcast clarifies a number of stock photography-related issues.

The usage of stock imagery will not negatively affect a webpage’s online search ranking, which should allay any users’ or potential users’ concerns.

However, don’t anticipate stock photography to appear in picture search results.

Some people think that stock imagery might divert website visitors or give the impression that the site is not legitimate.

However, that is only true if the stock photo is used in a setting where authenticity is required, for as on a homepage for “our team” or “about us.”

In a 2020 Office-Hours chat, John Mueller made the following remark concerning stock photos and authenticity:

If a picture is utilised repeatedly, image search will be more difficult.

There may also have a negative effect on users following a search, for instance: “Does the fact that your team photo is obviously stock photography influence conversions?”

The importance of utilising structured data for photographs on the webpage was left out of the discussion.

Therefore, even if the featured picture is a stock photo, it could still be helpful for Google to understand from the structured data that this is the featured image.

Any rich results may include images in structured data.

The material provided by Google claims:

“If you add structured data, Google Photographs may display your images as rich results, including a noticeable badge, giving people pertinent information about your page and perhaps bringing more specifically targeted traffic to your site.”

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