Does Google use EXIF data from pictures as a ranking factor?

Does Google use EXIF data from pictures as a ranking factor?

Today’s question comes
from Christian in Madrid, who asks, “Does
Google use EXIF data from pictures as
a ranking factor?” The short answer is, we did
a blog post in, I think, April of 2012, where
we talked about it. And we did say that we
reserve the right to use EXIF or other metadata
that we find about an image in order to help people
find information. And at least in the
version of image search as it existed back then,
when you clicked on an image, we would sometimes
show the information from EXIF data in the
right-hand sidebar. So it is something that
Google is able to parse out. And I think we do reserve the
right to use it in ranking. So if you’re taking
pictures, I would go ahead and embed that
sort of information if it’s available
within your camera. Because if somebody wants
to eventually search for camera types or focal
links, or dates, or something like that, it can be possibly
a useful source of information. So I’d go ahead and include
it if it’s already there. I wouldn’t worry about
adding it if it’s not there. But we do reserve
the right to use it as potentially a ranking factor.


  • MATT CUTTS: EXIF data on pictures is potencially a source for rankings

  • Not sure the question was answered.

  • Arrrgh! I remove EXIF data from online pictures to get faster loading pages (and to please Google). Will Google someday punish me for that?

  • Melinda de los Santos

    Sounds good! People appreciate knowing what the info or image is about while people hover and navigate over images. I didn't know what EXIF was before this video. 🙂

  • Obviously, and not discussed in the video, location is the most important EXIF data in the photo. This is clearly, the most important part of the question… and remains unanswered.

  • Does Google use EXIF image data as a ranking factor?

    "We reserve the right to. We can parse the data and we have displayed it at one time or another in search results", says Matt Cutts.

    You should use it if it is available, but don't go out of your way to add it retrospectively.

    We might use it. We might not.

    A simple yes or no would be quite nice, Matt 😉

    #SEO #SEOtips

  • No influence on ranking, but as a factor for relevancy. 

  • Guillaume Erard - Aikido & Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu

    Sounds like a good way to spot duplicates too

  • Good to know for webmasters, only logical to let Google understand your digital content. Another I told you so moment. Thank you for clarification

  • That's an awesome shirt

  • To know more about EXIF data, click below link:   1000 Words About Images …

  • Harsha Vardhan MP

    Does Google use EXIF data from pictures as a ranking factor?

  • thx matt for answering yet another obscure question nobody cares about

  • John-Pierre Cornelissen

    And what about the embedded IPTC data? That would be much more valuable since those are the non technical descriptive tags.

  • Talk about a non-answer. Why don't answer the true questions – does Google, and if so, use any of the meta data to rank or understand a picture? Let people know so that we can get more relevant pictures when we search and make the Internet a better place.

  • In simple terms.. This info helps your content relevancy

  • Well that was clear as mud…

  • ifthakher mahamud Mridul

    thanks MATT CUTTS it is very knowledgeable video at all. 

  • I like the shirt.  Wanna come play Paintball?  🙂

  • It is doubtful there could be a penalty for the absence of any EXIF data as every website CMS I'm aware of fails to include any of it whatsoever in all copies made of the original uploaded file. In other words, you may upload an image at 800 pixels in the longest dimension but most CMS systems (say, WordPress) automatically make smaller versions for medium and thumbnail views. Sadly, those are the copies of the file most often shown to visitors, real and digital, so they are mute on their EXIF origins.

    It is a shame because images could be a rich source of real definitive (and sadly spammy) data about what they are about, where they where shot, etc.

  • I often strip EXIF data to reduce the size of images, would anyone recommend against this?

  • Keywords inside an jpeg image is usefull? Metadata information, right click on the file -> property -> details –> tag

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