One SEO professional was concerned about how their site was hit after the summer Page Experience update.
They are working to convert their site to AMP along with using webP for images.
Their main question is: “Will converting JPEGs to webP affect existing image rankings?
John explained that yes, it’s possible that these changes could impact rankings. He’s observed people using the same image extensions, and just making them webP files.
If this works, this would save you some trouble because you just swap out the content but keep the same URLs. And all of this will continue working.
The other issue John mentioned is that if you change the URLs of all the images, or the URLs of the landing pages that are storing these images, it would take longer for image search to pick that up.
The other thing to keep in mind is that not all sites get a large quantity of traffic from image search.
Theoretically, this could look like something that could improve things if you make these changes. However, from a practical perspective, you may only get 5% of your traffic from image search.
This would cause these technical changes to slip to a much lower priority.
The SEO professional explained that they do get substantially more traffic from image search.
This happens at approximately the 6:45 mark in the video.
John Mueller Hangout Transcript
SEO Professional 3 6:45
So my question: I have a website, which is pretty bloated and it’s been hit really hard with the changes from the summer and onwards on the Core Web Vitals, I think it was. So I’m now redesigning that website in AMP pages, and I’m converting all my images to webP format. I don’t know if it’s wise, but I’m just a little concerned, I’m trying to use the same URLs. So I have two questions. The first is: with the images, they currently rank. But if I convert from the JPEG, excuse me, if I convert from JPEG to webP, is that going to impact those rankings?
Potentially. So I, I think they’re, I mean, what I’ve seen is some people just use the same image extensions, and make them webP files. And if that works, then that would essentially save you the trouble because then you just swap out the content, but keep the same URLs. And all of that will continue to work.
Whereas if you change the image URLs, or if you change the URLs of the landing pages for the images, then obviously for image search, that takes a little bit longer to pick up. But the thing to also keep in mind is that not all sites get significant traffic from image search.
So sometimes it’s something where theoretically, it’s a problem if you make these kinds of changes, and it takes time. But if from a practical point of view, you get, I don’t know, maybe 5% of your traffic from image search, theN maybe that’s not your highest priority. Okay,
SEO Professional 3 8:25
I get substantially more from image search. So I need to try to…I need to try to get this right. The next question then would be, am I wise in converting to AMP pages for everything, or is that a silly move at this point? I’m pretty fresh, shall we say? I’m not very good at this stuff. So…
Yeah, I think in general, that’s fine. AMP is a fairly fast framework. You can also make fast websites outside of AMP. So it’s not something where I would say, moving to AMP is a requirement, if you want to make a fast website. Depending on the kind of things you have available.
Sometimes you can make really fast websites even with a standard WordPress installation. So that’s kind of one thing to keep in mind. The other thing is the page experience update is generally quite a subtle update. It’s not something that would kind of—or shouldn’t make or break a website. So if you saw a significant drop in traffic from search, I would not assume that it’s purely due to you having a slower website. So that’s kind of the one thing there. I just want to kind of mention that ahead of time because it’s easy to sink a lot of time and money into making a faster website and sometimes there are bigger problems on a website than just speed.
SEO Professional 3 9:52
I think right now the mobile experience isn’t isn’t a good one. I think that’s what’s hitting me so hard. So when I do—when I use any of the tools, like Lightning, for example, what I’m saying is the, the page doesn’t actually render, it’s too slow.
Okay, if it’s even too slow to be tested that seems like something to fix just from a user point of view. But again, I think from a search point of view, for most of these things, I would not assume that making a website from really slow to really fast would cause a significant rise in visibility. Like there will be some changes, but it’s usually much more subtle.
SEO Professional 3 10:38
Okay. I had a 50% drop in like, at the end of June, the beginning of July, in traffic. So I know there was a big update then, I think it was Core Web Vitals at that point. Maybe I’m wrong.
I think we launched the page experience Core Web Vitals update from June onwards, but I don’t think you would see a 50% drop in traffic.
SEO Professional 3 11:02
It has been slow. It’s just gone down, down, down, down, down. So yeah…
That seems too extreme for just the speed and the page experience update. From my point of view, I would assume that there are other issues that are kind of stronger issues there.
SEO Professional 3
Okay. I’ll dig deeper then.