Google Says Updating Images Can Backfire

Google’s John Mueller recently addressed the speed of Google’s image indexing. He said that it can be frustrating to see that Google only crawls your website every few days, but this is something you will have to work with if you want to keep Google at bay in terms of crawling your site and serving up images. 

According to Mueller, Google actually makes an effort to crawl as many sites as possible in a very short period of time and then slows down how often it does so after that initial point of time.

Re-indexing photos by Google takes a long time. “Probably what is happening there is the overall crawling and indexing of photos, which is a lot slower than conventional web pages,” Mueller responded.

And if you delete one picture URL off a website and replace it with a new one, it takes a long time for the new one to be picked up. And that’s most likely what you see.” Redirecting old image URLs to the new image URLs, according to Mueller, can help.

The Google Search team has been working on a project called “Redirects” which will direct people who search for a specific image to the most relevant page that has that image. 

This should help speed up image search results for users. The Google Search team also responded that image sitemaps don’t speed up image indexing.

The documentation for Google’s Search Central Picture Map does not suggest that image sitemaps are useful. 

It simply states that they can assist Google in discovering photographs that are currently concealed from Google due to technical issues.

A quick server response would also aid indexing, according to Mueller. Otherwise, we’ll be slowed down by the fact that we’re sending fifty Google bots to your site at once. We have to wait for responses before we can proceed.

The main message is that changing photos can cause the old images to disappear from Google. These revisions may go without being replaced, and Google may take months to index the new pages. 

As a result, Mueller advocated for a quick response. Indexing can also be sped up by using redirects from old image URLs to new image URLs.

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