Does Google interpret text on images?

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It’s a pretty straightforward question. Can we expect Google to read our images? No? Even the simpliest text ever?

Okay, let me explain why you get awesome image results when you google. They might confuse you into thinking that Google understands images. The trick is to understand what’s on an image without looking at it. Metadata and context. Basically, the vast majority images that rank, have their metadata meaningfully set and are in a meaningful context like an image of a jaguar (car) in the middle of an article about jaguars, using car-related keywords like: road, wheels, engine, driving, etc.

Does it mean Google can’t interpret images? It can. And it does it sometimes. The issue about image parsing is that it takes huge amount of processing power, so it becomes too expensive to do it on the fly during normal indexing/page parsing.

Experimenting

However, what if our image has incredibly simple to recognize text without meta and context. Will the page with the image start ranking for the keyword? Will the image start ranking? Let’s test it.

Here’s our image:

Important Screenshot

We’ll see 🙂

Results

Google Indexing Images Text

Google doesn’t recognize the text.

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