Does EXIF metadata have any impact on google search results? Matt cuts discussed in the latest google webmaster help video that EXIF data from pictures is a ranking factor in search results. Image search is the most important feature that search engines have been refining now. Visual content is playing major role on web. Google has improved image search capability a lot in recent days. Lots of questions came into picture due to the frequent updates in the search engine algorithms. How metadata embedded on images, for instance? Does this influence the rankings?
What is EXIF data?
EXIF “Exchangeable image file”: It is the metadata embedded in the digital image files taken on a camera. It completely depends on age of the camera which contains information like model, camera brand, shutter, ISO number, lens type, aperture size, white balance, size, resoulution and other relevant information about the image. You can add additional information on it such as subject, title, keywords, author and comments.
Matt answers in the video that “we may use any information to help the users find what they actually looking for. Rather than that information like EXIF data will be displayed in the right hand sidebar of the interstitial page which appears when you click on the image.” By this we can conclude that google robots can read EXIF data and it can use it to rank search results. Matt also pointed saying that webmaster should embed image metadata because it is useful source of information.
Lot of sites is there that shows EXIF data. The most common Flickr has an option to all photographers uploading images to embed that information. This can be accessed if you click in the sidebar of the image. So while taking pictures try to embed that sort of information which is available within your camera. This info will help people who are searching for camera types, lengths, dates and many more.
What is in EXIF data that could potentially be used for ranking factor?
The answer would be the geotagging data that is included with the built in GPS when the photo was taken with mobile phone. Mobile phone cameras along with certain apps can supply information of when and where the images taken. All this is done using the geo-tagging capabilities. You can add other image data known as “Author” which is important information when google polishes “Authorship” factor in rankings. There is also an option to put copyright and photographer information which is useful for google to identify who is the originator of an image.
Importance of EXIF data in images
Those who know about the EXIF data can access it easily. The information provided in image metadata is very useful to photography enthusiasts and photographers because this will help them to experiment with a cameras photo settings. Integrate the EXIF data in images of your site and provide your visitor with relevant information. Google making a move to incorporate the data from EXIF into their search results especially the image search results. The data which is provided is accurate by webmasters.
So if you are taking photos make sure that EXIF data is being properly embedded.