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Google Image Search Does Not Index CSS Background Images | April 2021 W3

By winwei on April 16, 2021

Hey hey hey, your long-awaited SEO delivery has arrived!

This week we bring you updates on:

  1. Google Image Search Does Not Index CSS Background Images
  2. YMYL and non-YMYL in a Website Is Not a Good Mix for Google Algorithm
  3. Google Soft 404 Update Shook Up Google Search Ranking for Some Sites
  4. SERP Traffic Influenced Over Google Product Reviews Latest Update
  5. Certain Content Might Not Show After Google Discover’s New Guidelines

13/4/2021 – Google Image Search Does Not Index CSS Background Images

After his fruitless haul from Google Search Console Help, Matthew turned to Google’s John Mueller for solutions:

First, is aria-label equivalent to alternative text (also known as alt attribute)?

Second, will images from CSS background code show up on Google Image Search to improve the site’s traffic?

According to John, Google Image Search does not index nor rank images in CSS background code; in other words, images in CSS background will not show up on Google Image search. Thus, it will not help with SEO traffic.

John Mueller resolved a similar concern back in 2018, and the answer remains unchanged.

He further demonstrated to Matthew an easy way to check for aria-label was to google search the text in them. The answer to whether Google perceives alt text as those images is likely a “no.”

13/4/2021 – YMYL and non-YMYL in a Website Is Not a Good Mix for Google Algorithm

In a recent interview, Google’s John Mueller advised the audience to manually separate YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) and non-YMYL contents into each of their own individual websites, rather than wait around and expect Google to separate automatically. 

YMYL is a type of content that could affect a person’s health, happiness, safety, or financial stability for better or worse.

It is a type of high stake content Google does not treat lightly.

John explained that it has always been difficult for Google algorithms to rank a website that has very trivial or sensitive content, which further extends the coverage beyond YMYL and non-YMYL. 

Glenn Gabe, SEO Consultant at G-Squared Interactive, later summarized the interview on his Twitter.

14/4/2021 – Google Soft 404 Update Shook Up Google Search Ranking for Some Sites

After Google recently made a minor update for soft 404, some reported their sites were faced with ranking issues. 

John Mueller from Google confirmed in a hangout session that the development team has been working on it since the said update. 

Without sharing much detailed information, Olaf Kopp, the person on the other side of the screen, stated that it only affected their desktop ranking.

Jordan Silton, Senior Director of Product from Apartminternet, has shared on a Twitter thread how the soft 404 tweak has caused a serious issue to the ranking of their website, while some webpages were nowhere to be found.

14/4/2021 – SERP Traffic Influenced Over Google Product Reviews Latest Update

Google made an announcement last week that the latest ranking algorithm update aims to encourage users to share detailed product reviews. 

Recently, a user on Twitter had approached Danny Sullivan from Google, whether reviews will affect SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) ranking. The answer was yes – Google product reviews update will affect how one’s website is ranked.

Users’ selfish, underhanded attempts had brought massive misforture to the ranking of products found on Google.

Several well-known incidents in the past fueled this improvement, including the downvote of homework distribution app, DingTalk in China and TikTok in India had a huge downrank due to a serious dispute between YouTube influencers and TikTok creators.

Google had provided a checklist and some tools and tips for reviewers before sharing their two cents withal, and many had shared their ranking had been greatly affected since the update.

9/4/2021 – Certain Content Might Not Show After Google Discover’s New Guidelines

Let’s talk a little about the difference between Google Discover and Google Search.

Users will be able to find any relevant information upon typing their query into the search bar. That’s Google Search.

However, that is not the case for Google Discover. Discover shows a user what its algorithm thinks best tailored to what they usually search for. 

Discover results are inconsistent due to users’ evolving interests, so it is impossible to create content specifically targeting Discover. Just because content is eligible for Discover, does not mean it will definitely show up in Discover.

Google has also shared that “To deliver a good user experience, Discover seeks to present content that’s suitable for interest-based feeds, such as articles and videos, as well as filter out content that’s not desired or that might confuse readers. For example, Discover might not recommend job applications, petitions, forms, code repositories, or satirical content without any context.”

It is safe to assume that the chance of seeing news about celebrity tea on Discover is much higher than an article claiming wine-drinking can prevent Covid-19.

That’s All Folks!

Now that you have finished digesting the information above, do check out our previous posts for information that you might have missed!

Til next time, everyone. Enjoy your weekends and stay safe!

Updated: 6 May 2021

About Win Wei

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