How Does Google Multisearch Affect SEO?

Google’s John Mueller answered the question about how the new Google Lens search affects SEO. How google lens multisearch affects the practice of search engine optimization is a good question and John provided a thoughtful answer.

John Mueller discusses SEO and multiple search


Google Multisearch

Google Lens is an app available for Android and Apple iOS devices.

The Google Lens app (available for Android and Apple iOS devices) provides a way to search using the camera and perform tasks such as translating text, identifying plants, insects and animals , and find information about places and other similar functions.

Google Multisearch is a new way to search with the Google Lens app, using text and images at the same time.

The official Google Lens page on Google Play lists these functions for the app:

  • « DIGITIZE AND TRANSLATE TEXT
    Translate the 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 AND ANIMALS
    Find out what plant is in your friend’s apartment or what kind of dog you saw in the park.
  • EXPLORE THE PLACES AROUND YOU
    Identify and discover landmarks, restaurants and storefronts. View ratings, hours of operation, historical facts and more.
  • FIND THE LOOK YOU LOVE
    See an outfit that catches your eye? Or a perfect chair for your living room? Find similar clothing, furniture, and decor that you love.
  • KNOW WHAT TO ORDER
    See popular dishes on a restaurant menu based on Google Maps reviews.
  • SCAN CODES
    Quickly scan QR codes and barcodes.

The multisearch feature was announced on April 7, 2022 as a beta feature. Beta usually means that something is still under development and testing, but has reached a point where it is stable enough to use.

Google said the multi-search feature uses AI and they are still exploring integration of the MUM algorithm.

The Google MUM algorithm is a powerful technology that answers complex questions with the ability to use audio, video, images, and text, and returns the answer using information regardless of language .

Using the Google Lens app, a user can take a photo and then swipe up to access the “Add to your search” button which then opens a form to add text.

Screenshot of Google Lens in Multisearch mode

Google Lens Multisearch

Searching with an image can be thought of as a search for what exactly is in the image, like an exact search.

Searching with an image plus text allows the user to refine their searchfor example to find what is in the image but with a different color.

Google’s announcement of the new multiple search used the following examples of search improvements:

  • “Screenshot an elegant orange dress and add the query ‘green’ to find it in another color
  • Take a picture of your dining set and add the query “coffee table” to find a matching table
  • Take a photo of your rosemary plant and add the query “care instructions”

John Mueller read the question in the Google SEO office hours hangout.

Here is the question Mueller read:

“How can multiple search in Google Lens… affect SEO?” »

John Mueller responded by first explaining how google lens multisearch is still a new thing.

“So…this is something I think is still quite new and how multisearch works.

We recently published a blog post about it. And you can do it in Chrome for example and on different types of phones.

Essentially what happens is that you can take a picture of any image on a website and you can search using that image.

For example, if you find a…clothing or…anything you’d like to find more information about, you can sort of highlight that section of the image and then search for more similar things.

SEO and Multisearch

Mueller then discussed SEO in the context of multiple search:

“And from an SEO perspective, it’s not really something you would do … manually to make it work.

But rather, if your images are indexed, we can find yovos images and we can highlight them to people when they search that way.

So it’s not that there’s… like 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 in many ways.

SEO and Multisearch

John Mueller said that there is no news for SEO that is specifically related to multiple search. SEO best practices for content and image SEO are recommended.

However, in my opinion, Google multisearch may need to take further SEO-related steps, including reconsidering content and image strategy now that Google Lens is part of the mix.

In terms of SEO, it might be prudent to use the Google Lens app and check if your images actually show up for relevant queries.

Another thing to investigate is to check which competitors are ranked in Google Lens.

The advent of multiple search means that it may be worth considering using images on your web pages (if they are not already used effectively) in addition to applying the various best practices for images, including including image recommendations for Google Discover and structured data.

References

Read Google Multisearch ads

Go beyond the search box: Introducing multiple search

Learn more about the Google Lens app

Google Lens on the Google Play Store

Watch the Google Office Hours video

John Mueller answers the question of SEO and multisearch at 17:39 minutes

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