In light of Google’s recent update to their image search, where now searchers have the ability to “visit” page rather than “view image”, is it still valuable to submit a separate image sitemap?
- Image sitemaps: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/178636
- Image search update: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-removed-view-image-from-google-images-2018-2
I think this recent change makes a ton of sense – searchers will be able to see images in the context they were originally intended to be seen in, and good for webmasters because in theory it would increase traffic to those pages the images are on. So I personally see no issue there.
What I’m specifically curious about is, if you can no longer click through to the image in isolation, and Google is always going to show images in context, does that mean they will always find images contextually too? Do they even need webmasters to go, “Hey! Here’s a separate sitemap just with my .jpg links!” if they’re just going to find/display the images within the context of their html pages?