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Google Removes Web Stories From Images

  • Tom Brook 

 

On 8 February 2024, Google announced a major update on the availability of Web Stories. The update included several changes, the biggest being that Web Stories will no longer appear in Google Images.

But what does this mean in practice? And why does it matter?

What are Web Stories?

Google Web Stories were first launched in 2015. They were announced as a new format for Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) format. As such, they were known as AMP Stories.

Fast forward to 2018 when Google rebranded AMP Stories as Web Stories. Like Instagram Stories, Web Stories are mobile-focused visual stories that typically feature a mixture of video, images and audio. They use a carousel format that allows the user to pause, share and swipe from story to story.

This visually rich content was introduced to generate interest and draw in audiences. Essentially, it replicated social media stories into the web-browsing experience. 

The Google Web Stories Update

In February 2024, a Google update announced changes to the availability of Web Stories. The update read: ‘Web Stories don’t appear in Google Images anymore, and the grid view is now a carousel view in Search results.’

Google also added a new section to their Web Stories documentation. Here are the main takeaways:

‘Web Stories can appear as a single result on Google Search, which is available in all regions and languages where Google Search is available. Web Stories can also appear in a carousel on Google Search, which is available in the United States (in English), India (in English and Hindi), and Brazil (in Brazilian Portuguese).

In the Discover feed, Web Stories can appear as a single card where you can tap through the story. While this appearance is available in all regions and languages where Google Discover is available, it’s most likely to appear in the United States, India, and Brazil.’

In short, this update means that Web Stories will no longer appear in Google Image results or the Google Discover carousel. Instead, Web Stories will display as a single result in Google Search, like this:

How Will the Update Impact Me?

With this update, it appears Google could be phasing out Web Stories. If your current strategy utilises Web Stories, then it might be the ideal time to divert. This will allow you to find an alternative solution and prepare your site for a time when Web Stories may play a lesser role.
If you have questions about this announcement or if you want to know more about how this Web Stories update could impact your traffic, then get in touch. We’re perfectly placed to help you navigate these changes and our experts are on-hand for an informal chat.

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Author

  • Tom Brook

    Tom has more than 10 years of experience working in copywriting, content strategy and PR. Over the years, he’s led one of the largest copywriting teams in the UK and has worked on a freelance basis for some of the country’s biggest brands.