Last year, Google started including thumbnail images with search results as another way for users to find the result that best fits what they were searching for. Although thumbnail images have been common throughout the past year, RankRanger, an SEO tool provider, reported a spike in the frequency that thumbnail photos are popping up in mobile search results through Google.

The report from RankRanger found that from March 7 to 11, the percent of mobile search result pages with thumbnail photos on Google jumped from 40 percent to 75 percent. This jump in frequency comes a few months after Google announced that they will be heavily focusing on image search in 2019, so this test with mobile search results showing more photos may be part of Google’s shift in focus for the next year.

With thumbnail photos clearly becoming a focus for Google, companies should stay ahead of the game and evaluate their websites and pages to ensure they are populated with relevant and optimized images that may be pulled by Google for thumbnail photos. When it comes to SEO, even if your company’s website is not ranked in the first couple of spots, it is possible for a thumbnail photo to make your result stand out from your competition while featuring a product or corresponding image.

As Google continues to push out more features that makes search more user-friendly, it is necessary for companies to keep up and make changes accordingly to benefit from the changes. As we dive deeper into 2019, images will only continue to be useful tools that should not be overlooked when designing a website and implementing an SEO strategy.