Mountain View, California—Company images are now beginning to appear in Google organic search. A few select queries are returning company profile images on the SERP. And, the first instances do not seem to favor either markup, between corporations using or not using the rel=publisher tag.
Following the success of the Google rel=author campaign, which allows individuals to have their images appear on the SERP, it now appears that companies will enjoy higher CTR, or Click-Through Rates. That will mean higher conversion rates and more user engagement with brands.
Company Images on the SERP
While it appears that images of company logos are not being shown on the search results page currently, other company profile images are being included in query returns. A little research by Adam Morgan of COHI Marketing has found that regardless if a company is using the rel=publisher tag, its company logo images or profile picture still appears on the results page.
For instance, insurance company Progressive has its current fictional character, the Progressive Girl, Flo, whom is portrayed by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney, appear in organic search:
However, the insurance carrier does not use the rel=publisher markup, but does have a strong presence on the Google+ social network. This seems to confirm the statement that Google is becoming more sophisticated in “detecting when someone is sort of an authority in a specific space,” according to Matt Cutts, the search engine’s chief webspam engineer.
Another company appearing on the SERP is Phoenix East Aviation, a flight school which is making use of the rel=author or rel=publisher markup code:
The flight school is increasing its presence on Google Plus, which in turn allows its profile to be included in search results. The company is not seen as an actual authority in its field, though it does have a strong presence within the flight industry’s niche.
What’s Next for Google
Google appears to be making more use of social influences and the rel=author or rel=publisher markup tags are becoming more ubiquitous in query returns as more individuals and companies utilize the code and grow their presence on the Plus social network.