Google Clarifies the Absence of Images in Certain SERPs

Tech News March 28, 2024

John Mueller of Google provided a recommendation regarding a persistent issue concerning missing images in search results for recipe sites, yet recipe bloggers appear unconvinced or dissatisfied.

Images Absent from Search Results

Over the past few months, numerous recipe bloggers have raised concerns about image thumbnails disappearing from the search engine results pages (SERPs) for their websites. Despite previously having thumbnail images displayed, it seems that Google has stopped showing them at some point.

The recipe bloggers consider this issue to be a significant problem that requires attention and have brought it to the notice of SearchLiaison and John Mueller. However, despite their efforts, the problem persists.

One of the initial posts in the discussion that Mueller addressed dates back to January 29th, where a recipe blogger observed that a thumbnail image had ceased to appear for their site in the search results.


Hi. I saw today that Google is not showing any of my featured images, not one. From the most popular recipes to any other random one I checked.

Even if the picture appears in the Carousel (below the first one), it doesn’t appear in the list (second link). Help!

Google SearchLiaison acknowledged the issue and indicated that they had forwarded it for further consideration.

Casey Markee, the founder of Media Wyse, provided additional context about the issue, suggesting that it might be more pervasive than initially thought.

“FYI Danny, this is not a unique issue. We are seeing it on dozens of recipe sites.

Also, second issue, sites are reporting they can’t get any new recipes into the carousel in over a month!

I am going to have the sites tag you with specific examples where possible.”

Google's SearchLiaison confirmed that he has forwarded the report to the search team. Additionally, he assured that he would internally address Casey's feedback.

Indirect statements contribute to ongoing confusion

John Mueller's response seems to indicate that Google's search results are operating normally. However, the lack of explicit confirmation regarding any potential issues or outages leaves room for uncertainty. Mueller's language may be constrained by guidelines, or he might not fully grasp the need for a clearer statement. Despite this, his remarks suggest that the disappearance of image thumbnails is now standard practice. This shift raises concerns among recipe bloggers, whose visibility is adversely affected by the absence of these thumbnails. The issue extends beyond recipe blogs, impacting home improvement and travel sites as well, hinting at a widespread problem.