Local SearchPodcasts

Optimizing Images for Local Search

By October 22, 2019 December 9th, 2019 9 Comments

There has a been a lot of talk lately about the importance of images for SEO value.  Andy Simpson shared an extremely insightful video that shows a tool that I have not heard discussed much previously.

How to Use the Tool:

  1. Go to https://cloud.google.com/vision/ and scroll down the page to where it says “try the API”
  2. When you upload an image, the web tab will list the entities that Google currently associates the image with:
  3. If you scroll down on the web tab, it will also sometimes list the links where that image can be found around the web:


Interesting Discoveries:

  1. The tool shows that Google can often understand popular logos:
  2. The “text” tab shows us that despite what you may have heard, Google apparently can read text in images.  In this image I uploaded of a review I wrote, Google could read the entire thing, even with a small font:
  3. The entities that Google associates these images with include local businesses.  In the example below, the law firms listed had this image present on their website:

I’m sure we’ve only tapped the surface of what this tool can show you.  What other uses have you found it has?  Tell us in the comments or join the discussion on the Local Search Forum.

Joy Hawkins


  • Andy Kuiper says:

    Thanks for sharing this Joy/Andy 🙂

  • Koray T. Gubur says:

    Thank you but as I remember, Moz has written this subject first.

    • Joy Hawkins says:

      Oh, I’m sure other people have written about this tool before 🙂 I just wanted to share ours & Andy’s findings.

      • Carrie Hill says:

        Considering Moz writes minimally about LOCAL search and their article was not about local, and didn’t show an example of how you can actually USE the Vision AI tool to see the entity, publisher, text, etc information, I REALLY appreciate Andy’s video and Joy’s breakdown of how to interpret it.

    • Steven says:

      Koray… Who cares? It’s likely that most topics you’ve ever read about were written about by someone else first. It’s also highly unlikely that the first to write about any topic was the best. That’s how info gets spread around. People read about it and share it with others. What an asinine comment.

  • This is awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Andy Simpson says:

    Thank you all, after using the tool for a few weeks I found it strange that we “the local SEO community” were not discussing it, especially after Mike’s posts on images used in GMB, etc. I was also getting “suggested” articles in my Google feed on “the x best ways to optimize images for the web”, and I thought you’re all missing one very important step. So hence the video which Joy kindly expanded upon after we touched upon it at this years PubCon.
    What we all have to do now is test and share our findings on how we can use this tool to our advantage. Is stock imagery going to have to be a thing of the past, are we going to have to be more original with the images we use and what we include in those images? Are we all just going to have to get better at using photoshop?

    Thanks again and happy to discuss in the forum.

    • Mike Blumenthal says:


      Thanks (Sorry for the brain fart on your last name).

      And I would add that “optimizing images for local” does NOT include any of the geocoding whooey that folks seem to think that Google cares so much about.

      The answer is great images that are topically relevant to both the searcher AND Google.

      Eff stock photography.

      Thanks for highlighting this tool as it is just the tool we need to validate a pathway and as you say test, test, test

  • JhadyJ says:

    Thank you Joy and Andy and Mike!
    This is huge and the explanation is great. Agree with Mike Blumental and the fuss about geotagging for forever…when there are other areas to monitor and test.

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