If you’re a web developer, graphic designer, or even a business owner who routinely advertises online, you should be aware that Google has updated its Google Image guidelines to indicate which image file formats can be referenced in structured data appearing across their browser.
Last year, Kenichi Suzuki, a tech columnist who frequently writes about Google, affirmed that BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG account for all the image file formats Google supports, and they can all be used in structured data. Before then, Google representatives couldn’t readily verify exactly which files were supported by Google Images until it was officially announced in April of 2020. A cursory review of Google Docs does confirm that “Google Images supports images in the following formats: BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, WebP, and SVG.”
Why Are Image File Types Important?
If your aim is to provide visual content for print or the Web, understanding which images files are supported by the software platform with which you’re working is crucial. All graphics represented online are sourced to an image file. And, since most design starts on a computer, essentially every image you see printed in the physical environment takes its origin in a digital image file.
Image Files Come In a Variety Of Formats
The reason for this is that each format is designed to be optimized for specific purposes. When designing your website or print product, you want to ensure you’re using the best file format for the job at hand. In doing so, you guarantee the best image reproduction results possible. At the end of the day, you want your image output to look the same as you conceived it originally. Selecting the correct image format is the best way to go about accomplishing this.
When focusing on the visual aspects of your business communications, the last thing you want is a shoddy presentation, or worse, an image that’s missing entirely because it’s not in the right file format. We’ve gone over which image files are supported by Google Images, now let’s examine a few different categories of image files and their best use.
To begin with, there are “Raster” images that are pixel-based graphics that are resolution-dependent. Raster images account for the graphic you’ll find in a digital photo or web graphic. Some of the most common Raster image files include JPG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, RAW, and PSD. Raster images can be saved in either the CMYK or RGB primary color models.
Vector images represent another category of curve-based graphics that are resolution-independent and they are relegated to images such as logos, icon, and type-font. Vector image files consist of PDF, EPS, AI, and SVG.
It’s worth mentioning that Google Images does not support certain file types such as Raw and PSD. Raw images represented completely uncompressed data that permits better image processing such as adjustments for color, white balance, exposure, and so on. PSD files are Photoshop-specific files that are designed to interface with Photoshop’s image editing software. Both RAW and PSD files will have to be converted to one of the supported files listed above before they can be included in structured data over Google.
Ultimately, your image processing workflow shouldn’t change much. You’ll still be using the most commonly occurring file formats such as JPG for online photos, GIF for animated graphics and ad banners, and PNG which is generally accepted as an enhancement to GIF.
Written by Rajiv. He is writing content for Pearl Lemon Leads. You’ll find me playing with my dog Gizmo in between copious cups of coffee and even the odd donut or three 😛