Digital WoM

All You Need to Know About Visual Search

Visual Search

What is Visual Search and why do we need them

Visual search has become part of our lives ever since the advancement of technology. Ever since we have modified versions making it easier to find any image by taking pictures, and the software in it helps us to locate the image and provide information on that. What happens here is visual searching uses artificial intelligence by image searching rather than a text search of the picture. 

For instance, we have Google lenses that help us to visually search the whereabouts of the image, taking us to the source directly or providing us with the required information. This works when the website image content is well optimized. A well-optimized image content helps the website to increase its search popularity, bringing it to the users when they look for it. But, what is visual search important in SEO? How does it help us and the website to enhance search optimization better?

Ever since the emergence of the digital world of exploring, marketing products, and shopping, visual search has been playing an important role in digital marketing. Various studies have shown how visual search has become more important and popular among the young generations. When it comes to websites, especially eCommerce brands, visual search has paid off, making it easier and accessible to the users when they search for product images.  

How to Visual Search in Google

Google is one of the top search engines for a lot of things, starting with getting information, to pictures, etc. When it comes to searching images, the process is pretty simple: open Google’s homepage, go to Images and this takes us to Google image search. There are various ways of finding an image by either uploading an image or inputting the image’s URL. This then directs us to various results that give us options to choose which image we were looking for among the given search results.

Google launched its visual search program called Google Lens on 4th October 2017. This program combines search with three of these: augmented reality (AR), computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI). All these three use a neural network to analyze images and produce the desired results. Nowadays, we all have in-built Google Lens in almost all google pixel phones. Google Lens can be easily accessed through Google Images, Google Maps and Google Assistant.

Let’s see a few instances of how Google Lens helps us with visual searching with (a) locating text or translating a text, (b) Google Maps, helps us scan the street and get us information on the scanned area etc.

  1. If we have any text that can be transcribed or you want to find more details by scanning the numbers, information or even address, Google Lens helps us locate and provide us with the exact details we look for. 
  2. When it comes to Google Maps, using Google Lens by scanning a particular area or the street, can help us relocate or show us more details such as what all restaurants are available, shops, transportation routes and other things. The visual searching over here takes place by scanning and analyzing the image, relocating the details from the original and valid source.

Well, these are not the only ways to do a visual search. There are many brilliant ways to visual search on Google, for various purposes. The first one we know is by scanning the image, which would get analyzed by the software and redirect us to finding details. The second way is when you want to search for a similar picture that’s saved on the phone but you don’t know what the picture is called, you have Google Lens that has an ‘upload the image’ option. Or if you want to search for an object in your picture, all you need do is to select that part and wait for the results.

How does Visual Search Work?

Now, how do we understand how visual search works and how are these images brought to us when we look for them? And how can one optimize the image content well? All of the answers lie to the basics of how visual search works. From scanning to analyzing to locating to bringing out the required results to the users. Optimizing becomes an integral part of visual search. So, a well-optimized image brings better search results. 

Now, when it comes to optimization, three main essentials are to build well-optimized image content. They are Image name, Description and Formatting. All of these plays a role are as important as these essentials, which helps to bring the image, in this case, a product image of your website, to a higher range. In simple words, bringing the product picture from your website to the first page results on Google search engine. 

Let’s take a close look at what these essentials are and how they help us to optimize the image well. The image name is the first and foremost basic step. Image name plays a similar role to the title of a blog or a written work. An image name must contain a relevant keyword. The more precise and accurate your keyword is, the easier it gets to the users when they use these keywords to find the image. Hence, now we know why naming with a relevant keyword is important.

 Similarly, description plays a role too, by bringing it to the user’s notice, when they search image names. The description provides you with the content information and further details of the image. And coming to our third essential which is formatting. Formatting images by meeting the required criteria is important. For example, the format for Pinterest Image is 600 x 900 pixels. Or for a normal picture that could be used for the general purpose is the JPEG, as this format is small in size and does not compromise on image quality.


Understanding what visual search is and how it works is so important, especially when you want to create and run a website or understand how optimization works. Optimization becomes an important factor to know how you could rank your content to the top search lists when users look for them in search engines.