Better for SEO ? Horizontal or vertical images

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Occasional Contributor

Hello. My agency works with a lot of successful influencer/bloggers who recently started shaming us for our use of mostly horizontal images on our blogs. According to these bloggers, google favors vertical images. Can anyone verify this? 

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Q: My agency works with a lot of successful influencer/bloggers who recently started shaming us for our use of mostly horizontal images on our blogs. According to these bloggers, google favors vertical images. Can anyone verify this? ?

 

Short A: n/a

 

Longer A:

Ok, 1st of all, we have a zero tollerance policy for 'image shaming' in this thread, so you (and your weirdly shaped images are welcome here). haha Smiley Wink


That, coming from probably the most horizontal image-intensive contributor here. (head shaking)


Anyway, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SparkToro and former CEO of Moz, wrote a little about the relationship of images to SEO in a Whiteboard Friday a couple years ago. And while many things in SEO have changed since then, image orientation as a significant ranking factor has not.
- see How to Rank in Google Image Search - Whiteboard Friday


That being said, image orientation is like fashion ... it's a fad right up until it's a trend right up until Google says it matters. Hopefully, some designers will chime in on this thread as time goes by. In the meantime, do your thing. Unless those successful influencer/bloggers have deeper insight into RankBrain than Google engineers, let Google Image Search be your guide as Rand points out in his WBF.

 

we-love-horizontal-this-much-gif.gifCould't resist ...

 

 

Help answer your question? If so, remember to accept this solution now.

 

Best,
Frank

Chief HubSpot Consultant


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MFrankJohnson.com | Perfect HubSpot Series | Connect on LinkedIn

Help find posts quickly ... accept this solution now.

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

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Community Thought Leader

_hubspot-button-accept-as-solution-gif-v00.gif

 

Q: My agency works with a lot of successful influencer/bloggers who recently started shaming us for our use of mostly horizontal images on our blogs. According to these bloggers, google favors vertical images. Can anyone verify this? ?

 

Short A: n/a

 

Longer A:

Ok, 1st of all, we have a zero tollerance policy for 'image shaming' in this thread, so you (and your weirdly shaped images are welcome here). haha Smiley Wink


That, coming from probably the most horizontal image-intensive contributor here. (head shaking)


Anyway, Rand Fishkin, CEO of SparkToro and former CEO of Moz, wrote a little about the relationship of images to SEO in a Whiteboard Friday a couple years ago. And while many things in SEO have changed since then, image orientation as a significant ranking factor has not.
- see How to Rank in Google Image Search - Whiteboard Friday


That being said, image orientation is like fashion ... it's a fad right up until it's a trend right up until Google says it matters. Hopefully, some designers will chime in on this thread as time goes by. In the meantime, do your thing. Unless those successful influencer/bloggers have deeper insight into RankBrain than Google engineers, let Google Image Search be your guide as Rand points out in his WBF.

 

we-love-horizontal-this-much-gif.gifCould't resist ...

 

 

Help answer your question? If so, remember to accept this solution now.

 

Best,
Frank

Chief HubSpot Consultant


hubspot-solutions-signature-mfrankjohnson-v05.png

MFrankJohnson.com | Perfect HubSpot Series | Connect on LinkedIn

Help find posts quickly ... accept this solution now.

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

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Occasional Contributor

Thanks Frank! This is helpful indeed.

 

One influencer in particular, is big on pinterest (over 7 million followers). It may be that for her vertical is better for SEO bc vertical is what pinterest favors. And bc she reposts our blogs and images there we've decided to incorporate a 50/50 split on vertical/horizontal images in our blogs so our Pinterest loving influencers and their followers have good content to repin.

 

I welcome any more input from other marketers feeling image shame. ;-)

Community Thought Leader

Absolutely, yes. And while social shares are an indicator of interest and influence (with Pinterest being the clear vertical image leader), the link between those shares and page rank remains questionable at best while also being extremely difficult to obtain with consistency and at scale.
- see Excellent Buzzsumo Content Webinar Recording (Brian Dean of Backlinko and Susan Moeller of Buzzsumo)

These two 'ranking influencers' have much to say about the influence of social shares on page rank in 2019 and are well worth the 1hr listen. Enjoy

Hope that helps.

 

Best,
Frank

 

MFrankJohnson-dot-com-HubSpot-Community-banner-gif-v20190817

Regular Contributor

i think horizontal images are more better for Better SEO, but always use proper alt tags in images for better seo ranking and results.

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Regular Contributor | Diamond Partner

I would disagree. It's not about whether your images are vertical or horizontal. It's about how it affects the user experience.

 

What these influencers and bloggers are likely getting at is that the user experience that they're perceiving from the images you have is less than ideal. Whether or not that is true comes down to a mass-market opinion. One or two opinions can be subjective. The best thing to do is to get Hotjar or some other tool  to run a survey as a slide in question on the site to see how actual users are perceiving those images. Another option, though I suggest you do all of this, is to just look at some of the best of blogs in your industry or just best blogs in general. Brian Dean has a great blog and so does Neil Patel. Do the dimensions on their images of very a lot from what you see on your articles? If so, that could be a sign that your images are not ideal. Finally, you can use data to split test. Take notes of your average time on page for the last 60 days for a specific you articles with those images. Switch them up to the images that they recommend and see how the average time on page changes during that time. A final bonus tip would be to have some recording tool set up which will allow you to analyze how users move their cursor in and around your images. Are they staying on those images or quickly moving on? Is there cursor showing confusion? That would tell you a lot.

-With love, Will Chou