Google says that you can specify a thumbnail image to be shown in search results by adding a <meta name="thumbnail"> tag to the head of the document. See https://support.google.com/programmable-search/answer/1626955?hl=en

However, it does not say what kind of urls are accepted in the content attribute. The example on their page is a http: url with no mention of alternatives.

Does anybody know if a base64 encoded data url is supported?

For example:

<meta name="thumbnail" content="data:image/svg+xml;base64,PHN2ZyB2...">

1 Answer 1


Generally Base64 images are not indexed by google so it doesnt make sense to use that encoding for your thumbnail meta tag.

  • they say they generally support data urls: developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/…
    – cipak
    Dec 5, 2022 at 12:51
  • and the reason I need this is that the image is a chart/graph generated on the fly, when the page renders (in Vue)
    – cipak
    Dec 5, 2022 at 12:51
  • You are right so you can give it a try with an A/B test.
    – Reza Ataei
    Dec 5, 2022 at 13:45
  • AB testing isn't appropriate for this scenario. An appropriate test would be to try it on one page and see if Google picks up the image. AB testing where you show different results to different users doesn't usually work for crawlers. May 4, 2023 at 12:47

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