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When making a search on Google for something rather generic, Google might show image results above the list of organic search results websites, or in a top position. There would also be a link like "More images for [search terms].

Are there any generally accepted rules regarding when Google shows images? What kind of searches does Google consider relevant for image results?

  • Just when Google thinks it's relevant for users. Displaying rules are not known to everyone. – Zistoloen Apr 21 '14 at 18:49
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If you append any of the words "images", "pictures", or "photos" to your query, Google will assume that you are looking for images. See the following examples:

But if you search for just "cats", Google doesn't show the images.

They try to determine whether the searcher is looking for images based on the query. The images are also triggered for queries that don't use the three image keywords, but those cases are rarer.

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