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Google Image Search Update To Reduce Duplicate Images In November 2020

Google announced it rolled out a Google Image Search algorithm update in November 2020 aimed at reducing duplicate images in the search results, to instead show “relevant yet visually distinct” images. Plus, Google made the alternative meanings refinement boxes more helpful with better images – the company said on Twitter.

Visually Distinct Images

Google wrote “to help, we made an improvement to Image Search to reduce duplicate images, so that we can display others that are relevant yet visually distinct.” Google shared these two examples of image results showing the “visually distinct” but yet “relevant” images for the query:

click for full size

This means that back in November 2020, you may have had an image that was ranking well and then stopped ranking well for a specific query. It also means that you may have images that were not originally ranking before this update that now does rank after this update.

Improvements to Alternative Meanings Refinement

Google also made improvements to alternative meanings refinement boxes, to make them more helpful with better images and results. Google said “Sometimes, one meaning can dominate image results. Our improvement works to show images for alternative meanings, when that seems helpful.” Google “there are also times when a query can relate to different things. For example, [jaguar] could mean either the animal or the car.”

So these refinements and the images within them improved sometime in November 2020:

Why did Google announce a change now from several months ago? Well, sometimes Google just does that.

I even confirmed that not part but all of the announcement was from November 2020 and Danny confirmed:

Forum discussion at Twitter.

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