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Google says updating images can backfire



updating images

John Mueller states that indexing images are slow. This can hurt heavy sites that update their images. John Mueller offered feedback about how slowly Google indexes images. This was in a recent Google Office Hours. Mueller answered for a solution that updating images I possible only for a fast server response.

Google is slow to re-index images. In response, Mueller answered that “Probably what is happening there is the general crawling and indexing of images, which is a lot slower than normal web pages.

And if you remove one image URL and you add a new one on a page, then it does take a lot of time to get picked up again. And that’s probably what you see there.” Mueller suggested that redirecting old image URLs to the URLs of the new images can help.

He stated that it’s like if we can keep the old one in our systems and follow the redirect to the new one. Mueller also responded that image sitemaps don’t speed up image indexing. He stated that if you’re making a change by changing all the image URLs, I don’t think the sitemap file will change anything there.

Google’s Search Central Image Map documentation does not claim the helpfulness of image sitemaps. It only says that they can help Google discover images that stay hidden from Google for technical reasons.

Mueller also replied that a fast server response would help to index. Otherwise, we just get bogged down because we send fifty Google bots to your site at one time. We’re waiting for responses before we can move forward.

The major takeaway is updating images can lead to a dropout in Google for the old images. These updates can go without any replacement and can take months for Google to index the new pages. Hence, Mueller suggested a fast response. And using redirects from old image URLs to the new image URLs can speed up indexing.

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