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Have You Been Affected by Image Mismatch?

Kathleen Garvin

Are you familiar with the latest manual action? Our content team came across this article on image mismatch at Search Engine Roundtable earlier in the month.

Barry Schwartz wrote, “This manual action is when your images on your site don't match what Google is indexing and displaying in their search results.” Web CEO further explained, image mismatch is what “happens when you are serving Google one image and the user another image ... ‘cloaking.’”

We wanted to know: have you been affected?

mismatched socks

In the Webmaster Tools Help section, Google provides the following reason for the penalty and what you can do about it: “…some of your site’s images may be displaying differently on Google’s search results pages than they are when viewed on your site.

As a result, Google has applied a manual action to the affected portions of your site, which will affect how your site’s images are displayed in Google.”

image mismatch

At first glance, it seems like only Black Hat SEOs might be affected. However, there has been talk about people being wrongly penalized; specifically those with watermarked images on their site.

Make sure your images look the same on your website and in Google images. If you're weren't guilty of bad practices, you might discover a bug or other issue. Once you clean up your site, you can apply for the aforementioned request reconsideration.

Any thoughts on image mismatch? Feel free to share your tips — or horror stories — in the comments section.

Photo credit: Rik Panganiban

Kathleen Garvin

Asks great questions and provides brilliant answers.

Kathleen Garvin is an online editor and analytics wrangler for The Penny Hoarder, the largest personal finance blog. She's also a contributing writer for I Want Her Job and started a beginner-friendly digital marketing blog, The Maroon House. Kathleen is the former blog editor at SEMrush.
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