Google loves carousels of all kind and we’ve seen more and more features to move to this display type. Here is another one Google is testing now:
As you can see from the video, in the carousels users can view a few images pulled from the pages. The images are not clickable, but the “view all” CTAs that the sliders end with are and send users to the page.
Not all pages with multiple images have sliders. It is not clear to me at this time how Google decides what pages it adds image sliders to.
Initially, I thought dimensions and image sizes could play a role, but I ruled this out pretty quickly, as there is no consistency in dimensions, and while most of the images I’ve seen were under 0.2 MB, some were over 1MB in size. File extension also does not seem to matter. I’ve seen png and jpeg files pulled into these carousels. The sliders are being tested on a wide range of sites from local dealers to Wikipedia. Although, some sites seem to get the carousels pretty consistently for different queries. Wikipedia is one of them.
Apart from the fact that Google loves carousels this tests also shows that Google is interested in doing more with and adding more features to images. Last month Google added “style ideas” feature to image search. Less than 2 weeks ago new image filters were added, and now this test. I will be very surprised if we do not see Google starting to monetize images & image search in the near future. I am pretty confident image ads are coming.