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Embedding Instagram Images can result in SEO issues- Google

Aug 13th 2019 at 11:33 PM


Google’s Webmaster- John Mueller was asked regarding the reason behind the major drop in image search traffic after embedding Instagram images on websites. Mueller decided to test it and found that Instagram on the embeds use a no index robots meta tag, which tells Google that they do not want those images indexed together with the entire page.

This means that if you use Instagram and use their embed code, Google is most likely to not rank the image on the website in the image search. Mueller further said in video hangout that what really kind of breaks the story is that within the content that is embedded from Instagram on with within the ifrane, they use a no-index robots meta tag. And this meta tag shows that the images are not wanted to be indexed together with the web page. So in the iframe content, an image can be recognized, the image can be then crawled but with that meta tag it is basically indicating that the image does not want to be indexed together with the landing page.

However what was specifically noticed in the way that Instagram embeds the images, they use an iframe to embed the post from Instagram. Which is kind of sensible but with an iframe another layer of indirection is basically being added between your page and the images. So it goes from the web page to this iframe and then from the iframe content to the images. So that makes it a bit harder for those images to be picked.

So basically by switching from a direct embedding of an Image on your website to using Instagram embeds, you are indicating that you do not want those images indexed for your website. And with this it would be normal to see a significant drop in image search traffic to those web pages as you are telling that you do not want those pages to be indexed like that. So it essentially a type of comes back to you and kind of your preference. Although this sometimes makes sense to embed Instagram posts directly or social media posts in general, as there are a lot of added value from just comments, shares and likes and all of that information is available within the embed. On the other hand it makes it very hard for actually index those images so that is something that is needed to be balanced on your side if you need to have all the extra details around the images or do you really need to make sure that the images are properly indexed for your website.


Depending on the website you will have preferences one way or the other if you want to have both types of Instagram embed and to have your page ranking for those images in your page then that will probably be tricky and might involve weird situations such as putting it in there twice.

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