Google has launched a new search engine results page (SERP) containing a small, interactive icon that will reveal images featured on the ranking webpage. Although Google has not documented this new feature because it appears to be a test, we can assume they are trying to understand whether images will help users determine if a website’s content is relevant to their search.
The Interactive SERP test features a small icon representative of a picture in the search result. When a user clicks on the icon, images from the site are revealed. Multiple images can appear when a user clicks on the icon, and multiple listings can feature the icon. This new feature could certainly impact click-through rates, and advertisers should take note of what images they are choosing to feature on their webpages. Although sites should already be including relevant images on their site pages, if this feature is rolled out on a larger scale, image selection will become more important than ever. It is unclear if publishers will be able to select the images to appear when users click on the icon.
As of right now, Google is only testing this new feature on a small percentage of total users. Google’s methodology traditionally includes using a control group to compare what users clicked on during the same time period and for the same queries. If results prove favorable, this new interactive feature will be rolled out to a larger user base in the future. Stay tuned.