Google MultiSearch has been recently launched and has been around for a while. It has been key in transforming the way Google searches happen to include searches in multiple formats.
There must have been many times when you might be wondering if a particular brand or colour of shirt you see in a store is available in another variation online? Or that you suddenly love a pen stand, a phone that you saw and you want to quickly want to know the best deals available on the internet by simply taking a screenshot.
Google has identified the demand for this type of search and has actively worked to roll out a feature called Google Lens found on mobile and also for Google apps.
How Google Lens Works
With Google Multi-search you can go beyond traditional text search. For example, if you are seeing an interesting product but can’t describe it in words, you can just snap a photo, Swipe up with the “+ Add to your search” button to add text.
Google Lens has multi-search as a search function built in its App infrastructure.
Multisearch helps in searching through both images and text
Here’s what the official Google Post says about the functionalities of Google Lens:
- “SCAN & TRANSLATE TEXT
Translate words you see, save a business card to your contacts, add events to your calendar from a poster, and copy and paste complicated codes or long paragraphs into your phone to save time.
- IDENTIFY PLANTS & ANIMALS
Find out what that plant is in your friend’s apartment, or what kind of dog you saw in the park.
- EXPLORE PLACES AROUND YOU
Identify and learn about landmarks, restaurants, and storefronts. See ratings, hours of operation, historical facts, and more.
- FIND THE LOOK YOU LIKE
See an outfit that catches your eye? Or a chair that’s perfect for your living room? Find similar clothes, furniture, and home decor to the one you like.
- KNOW WHAT TO ORDER
See popular dishes on a restaurant menu based on reviews from Google Maps.
- SCAN CODES
Quickly scan QR codes and barcodes.“
Google Multisearch uses AI to combine images and text to make sense of the query and return relevant results, mostly product listings, or other relevant formats.
It also claims to explore ways of integrating the MUM algorithm to enhance the search experience. Google MUM Algorithm is a powerful technology with the ability to answer queries audio, video, images, and text and return the relevant information irrespective of the language of the query.
Google gave the following examples to describe this new way of how searches will work through Google’s lens.
- “Screenshot a stylish orange dress and add the query “green” to find it in another color
- Snap a photo of your dining set and add the query “coffee table” to find a matching table
- Take a picture of your rosemary plant and add the query “care instructions””
How SEO will work for MultiSearch
A similar question was asked to John Mueller from Google. Here’s what he had to say:
“So… this is something I think that is still fairly new and how multi-search works.
We recently did a blog post about this. And you can do it in Chrome for example and on different types of phones.
Essentially what happens is you can take a photo of any image from a website and you can search using that image.
For example, if you find a specific …piece of clothing or …anything basically, that you would like to find more information on, you can kind of like highlight that section of the image and then search for more things that are similar.”
He continues about SEO by saying:
“And from an SEO point of view, that’s not really something that you would do …manually to make that work.
But rather, if your images are indexed then we can find your images and we can highlight them to people when they’re searching in this way.
So it’s not that there’s … a direct effect on SEO or anything like that.
But it’s kind of like if you’re doing everything right, if your content is findable in search, if you have images on your content and those images are relevant, then we can guide people to those images or to your content using multiple ways.”
Here’s the Full Google Hangout Where John Mueller talks about SEO and Multisearch: (Check the 17:39 mark)
So What to Do?
Although John Mueller was being “Googly” about his answer regarding SEO optimization for multi-search, we at ThatWare still believe certain changes in SEO tactics are necessary to make our content visible in Google searches. Here is a list of points that we should work on.
- Since MultiSearch combines images and text to provide context to search queries, hence following a multi-format content strategy will be now crucial for our SEO campaign. I essentially mean including more and more images on the Website pages, Blog posts, subtopics, and wherever possible.
For example, A person can take a picture of a broken lock and search for a term like a repair to find local locksmiths.
If you are a locksmith, it would probably make sense to have a picture of a broken local on your website with a caption like “lock repair services” mapped to a relevant service page to ensure your image or post shows up for relevant search queries.
This is how optimising your SEO campaign with images can greatly enhance quality traffic from Google multi-search.
- Optimise all Images with Alt Tags to make sure it is found by Google. Check this guide on Image SEO.
- Also, we should continuously keep track of our Image rankings in Google search as well as those of our competitors.
With Google MultiSearch I believe the main change would be to have an image-oriented mindset in our SEO Strategy. Producing more images in different content and leveraging image-based platforms like Pinterest, Facebook Shops and Instagram will help much in optimizing for Multisearch and hence Google Lens.