Google Lens: The Rise of Visual Search
It’s 2020 now and the world of search engines is still continuing to grow and change. Based on recent trends from 2019, Google’s newest way to search – Google Lens – is beginning to grow in popularity. Over 62% of Generation Z and young Millennials crave more visual search capability according to an article on marketwatch.com
Even though the idea and practice of visual search is still in its infancy, it is already working incredibly well. Google Lens has the ability to identify over a billion unique objects and that number continues to rise daily. It has a variety of different uses and is most often used for shopping, identifying landmarks, and visualizing language translations. It also holds the capability to do a whole lot more.
Uses for Google Lens
According to Google, the new visual search tool has already been used over a billion times worldwide. Everyday consumers can use Google Lens for a plethora of different inquiries. For instance, say you are at a restaurant looking at the menu for something to order. Google Lens can automatically highlight popular dishes straight from the menu. Tapping on a highlighted dish can provide you with pictures, reviews on the restaurant, and reviews on the dish itself.
Google Lens can also be helpful if you are in an unfamiliar place with an unfamiliar language. For example, if you are attempting to read a sign in a different language, you can aim your camera at the sign and Lens will provide the translation over the original words. Additionally, Lens has the capability to translate in over 100 different languages.
Similarly to the way Lens translates signs, it can also read them to you. With more than 800 million adults across the globe who struggle with reading and comprehension this is a great new tool. When you point your camera at a block of text, Lens can now read to you whatever is on the page and in the correct context. You also have the ability to isolate a certain word to search it or learn its definition.
Next Steps for Google Lens
This current year, Google will be continuing to expand on the capabilities and uses of Google Lens. They are continuing to find ways to connect useful digital information to objects in the physical world. For example, if you see a dish in Bon Appetit magazine that you’d like to cook, you’ll have the capability to point your camera at the recipe and the page will begin to move, showing you the exact steps in the recipe.
Lens has also been adding the ability to detect certain plants, animals, works of art, and landmarks. For example, if you’re taking a stroll and notice a flower you haven’t seen before, you can use Google Lens to take a picture and learn more about it.
Optimizing for Visual Search
With the rise of visual search comes the need to optimize for visual search. If you want your content to show up as a search result for Google Lens, image SEO is the main priority. To do that you’ll want to keep your focus on providing descriptive file names, and adding alt text to every image you want to rank for visual search results.
According to Google, they want to display Image results from pages that have a high domain authority, post up to date content, and feature the image in a central location at the top of the page. Keeping track of these important details will help your images get the best chance of ranking.
-Written by Jonah Ericksen