Importance of images to SEO

Google increasingly displays images in its search results. For example

When Google returns a search results page it actually contains the images base64 encoded within the page. Google probably does this for performance and reliability reasons.

When users click on an image Google displays the following page.

The users web browser makes a request for the original image with Google set as the referrer.

The following graph based on one of our customers data shows the number of image requests where Google is the referrer.

A staggering 1% of their image requests are now referrals from Google!

This highlights the importance of images as part of an SEO strategy.