What Triggers the New Large Image Link Shares on Google Plus?
Since Google+ started rolling out a change to how some link images are displayed on late Thursday (US time), many have been speculating what triggers these larger images for link posts. (If you haven't noticed, for many posts now that are sharing an embedded link to an external web page, the old small thumbnail has been replaced by a full column-width image from the shared post, with the post title and site name underneath.)
We've been watching various conversations on what triggers these images. There is still not absolute consensus, but here are some factors several people say they've turned up via extensive testing:
1. It seems to help greatly if the web page being shared has an Open Graph (OG) tag with content type
set to article. See http://goo.gl/0tmpxc
by +George Sepich
(confirmed in tests by +Masatake Wasa
1a. According to +Allen Firstenberg
: people can also or alternately mark it up with schema.org
microdata. See https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/176035?hl=en&ref_topic=1088472
for more about this, including a tool to help you configure it.
2. The shared web page should have at least one image that is a minimum of 506 px wide (reported by +Gerwin Sturm
). +Masatake Wasa
says that for a single column view, or if the post is opened in its own tab, the minimum width must be 600 px. He also adds that there seems to be a minimum height of 300 px tall for multi-column display and 360 px tall for single column
(It turns out Masatake meant that is how the images will appear
on G+, not the minimums to trigger them. Gerwin's 506 px wide seems to be the important factor.
3. +Joshua Berg
noticed that all the visible
links in these new link shares are marked no-follow. But he also discovered that there is a hidden link in the embed that does not have a no-follow attribute. Yesterday he asked Google's +John Mueller
in a Webmaster Central Hangout about the meaning of this. You can read Joshua's report on John's answer at http://goo.gl/4TeopL
4. STC's +Mark Traphagen
and friend +martin shervington
discussed the implications of these new link share image posts for marketers and influencers in a 30-minute video at http://goo.gl/X8sm6H
We want to stress that these are preliminary findings. More may be discovered about this new feature in the days ahead. We'll update you as we come across new, verified information. #gplustips #googleplustips