Mobile Visual Search - the Next Big Thing

Pinterest facebook twitter linkedin posted by David Arnold on March 30, 4:07,
Tips on Mobile Visual Search By The Partnership

Media Notes from 'Liv' McKinsey

Let’s climb into the Way-back Machine and go all the way back to 2002. Back then, Internet Search Engines were still an emerging advertising vehicle, and the industry trade pubs were questioning if they really worked. The industry leaders in paid search were Overture (later bought by Yahoo!), LookSmart,, MSN, and, finally, Google. In order to rank organically, your first stop was DMOZ, not your website. Ninety percent of paid search ranking was based on bid and nothing else. Those who had the deepest pockets usually won.

Now fast forward 10 years, to present day. Paid search is now the darling of online media—a tried and true form of advertising. Its stability and reliability in delivering quality leads has made it a staple in any digital plan (if search is not in your marketing scope, you’re missing out). The predictability of consumers in search also makes it a “go-to” medium and the pricing model is definitely attractive (you don’t pay anything unless someone clicks).

Now paid search is ready to make another giant leap forward. Introducing MVS—Mobile Visual Search.

Google has been working on visual search for a few years now and Google Goggles has gotten a lot of airplay recently. Why? Because Google Goggles marries a learned behavior (taking pictures) with online search, which has already been adopted as a standard behavior.

According to Google:
“Google Goggles lets you use pictures taken with your mobile phone to search the web. It's ideal for things that aren't easy to describe in words. There's no need to type or speak your query—all you have to do is open the app, snap a picture, and wait for your search results.”

There are still a few things that prohibit its mass adoption right now. First of all, you need the Google Goggles app installed on your smartphone. Secondly, you need to run the search query through that app. However, given the amount of play that Google search has on its Android-based phones, we believe it won’t be too long before you can perform that function within the standard search interface.

At The Partnership, we’ve been digging into implementation of Mobile Visual Search. Here are some tips we found useful in optimizing campaigns for MVS:
• Make sure the image you want to use is clean and easily recognizable.
• High-contrast images work best.
• Glossy images can produce glare that may distort the image, so stick to matte finishes.

We loved these tips from

#1 SEO tip for Google Goggles
Optimize and enhance the current images on your site. Start with the images on your website that feature either the solution you’re providing or the problem it is fixing. For example, if you sell wine, your current online store probably has a picture of the entire bottle or selection of wines that you carry. But, do you have close up shots of the label? The stamp on the cork? How about the seal that goes over the cork?

#2 SEO Tip for Google Goggles
It’s about Location! Location! Location! If your store has a physical location, create geographical image cues on your site in places like the About Us page. Example: If you are a coffee shop next to Centennial Olympic Park, then place a photo of the location on your site with image tags that state you are just 100 feet away. Then if someone uses Google Goggles while they are standing in Centennial Olympic Park, you would show up in the results.

#3 SEO Tip for Google Goggles:
Abide by the basic rules of SEO. Get your list of related keywords and search terms together and compile multiple photos for each of them. Make sure to create keyword-rich filenames for the images and ensure that when the photos are uploaded to your site, the keywords are in both the alt tag and text immediately below the image on a webpage. Google has already admitted that they will integrate their image database, so if you rank well in Google images already; then you will have some type of image rank juice transferred through to Google Goggles.

Google recommends focusing on the following images/things for leveraging Google Goggles:
• Books and DVDs
• Landmarks
• Barcodes and QR Codes
• Logos
• Contact Info
• Artwork
• Businesses
• Products
• Text

And, in case you are going to check Google Goggles out, here are Google’s recommendations on how to get your photo to come back with the best results:

1. Take photos in areas with good lighting.
2. Zoom in as much as possible by placing your phone close to whatever you want to photograph.
3. Hold your hands steady and lightly tap the shutter button.

Here are some links where you can learn more about Google Goggles: Google Goggles Overview, Google Support, Bacon Digital,