From BuzzFeed listicles to Twitter clapbacks, GIFs (which is short for Graphics Interchange Format) are part of the language of the Internet. If you search through Google images or through Giphy, which is one of the largest GIF aggregators, you can see a huge variety of GIFs on display from all over:
- GIPHY, which is owned by Facebook, is the largest GIF search engine by far. It gets about 10% (200 billion) as many searches as Google does each day.
- Tenor, which is owned by Google, gets around 0.6% (12 billion) as many searches as Google.
Just like Google, these GIF search engines have their own algorithms that determine which GIFs rank highest in search results.
What Is A GIF?
An animated GIF (pronounced both as “jif” and “gif” and arguing about the pronunciation is a surefire way to start an argument online) is a kind of media file which can be embedded into personal messages as well as public content online.
A quick Google search defines GIF as “the loss-less format for image files which supports both animated as well as static images,” that rose in popularity during the 1980s. GIFs can express emotions or scenarios in a more dynamic as well as entertaining format.
Debuted by Steve Wilhite of Compuserve, GIFs enhanced the black-and-white images which were in use during that time by permitting the utilisation of 256 colours while – as the same time – maintaining a compressed format which could still be loaded by those utilising slow modems. Furthermore, web developers and designers were able to create animations via timed delays. Up until today, little has changed regarding GIFs.
How Does Google Crawl GIFs?
Google seems to, right now, to read GIFs in the same manner that it reads all other images – just with a greater focus on being able to search for, as well as share, them through Google Images. Google Image optimisation techniques are the way to go in order to make sure that your GIFs get crawled, parsed as well as indexed.