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Google is Fixing an Issue Affecting Large Images in Google Discover



Google confirms it is fixing an issue that’s preventing non-AMP pages from displaying large images in Google Discover.

Google’s John Mueller addressed the issue in a Webmaster Central hangout held on April 14.

Actually, this topic was brought up several times over the past couple of weeks.

It’s been the subject of an ongoing discussion between Mueller and our lead developer, Vahan Petrosyan.

Petrosyan first brought this issue to Mueller’s attention in a Webmaster Central hangout on March 31.

Mueller was asked whether it’s possible to have large images in Google Discover without utilizing AMP.

Web pages in Google Discover display thumbnail-sized images unless specific criteria is met.

Petrosyan mentioned the fact that, even when all criteria is met, Discover does not consistently display large images for non-AMP pages.

Here’s the difference between a thumbnail image and a large image in Discover.

Google is Fixing an Issue Affecting Large Images in Google Discover

According to the official Google Discover support page, there are two ways to enable large images for web pages:

  • Use large, high-quality images that are at least 1,200 px wide.
  • Ensure that Google has the rights to display the images to users, either by using AMP or by filling out a form.

Why, when all boxes are checked, does Discover still not display large images for regular web pages?

John Mueller’s Response

Mueller says AMP isn’t necessary to display large images in Discover.

To get around the issue of large images not being displayed, Mueller suggests using the relatively new max-image-preview robots meta tag.

Here’s Mueller’s full response when asked if large images can be displayed in Discover without AMP:

“Yes. I think they want to move away from that form, and another option you can do… is to use the max image preview robots meta tag where you can specify, I think, “large,” as the large preview image. That would also apply to Discover.”

Petrosyan, our developer, applied Mueller’s advice and continued to run into problems.

Issues With Large Images Still Persist

Fast forward a couple of weeks.

Petrosyan began utilizing the max-image-preview meta tag to no avail.

Search Engine Journal’s non-AMP articles are still surfaced in Discover with smaller images.

Petrosyan pointed out some inconsistencies with an example of two CNN articles displaying large images.

The screenshot below shows both an AMP article and a regular article with the same size image.

Google is Fixing an Issue Affecting Large Images in Google Discover

Mueller was once again asked about this during the Webmaster Central hangout on April 14.

In response, Mueller simply said the issue is being looked into but there’s no new information to report right now.

Mueller adds that work is being done to make information regarding the criteria for large images more clear.

This issue has also prompted the Google Search team to be more consistent internally with how these issues are dealt with.

If your site is affected by this Google Discover issue as well, the only thing we can do at the moment is hang in there and wait for a fix.

Hear the full question and answer in the video below:

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“We’ve been looking into that and there’s some work being done from the team to make the information a little bit clearer, and to be a little bit more consistent internally with how we deal with those kinds of issues.

So I don’t have a complete update for you yet but people are working on it so hopefully we’ll have something soon.”

Source: Google Help Center



Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster



Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”


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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.


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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.


Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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