The discussion came up on Twitter, but it is something I have noticed for a month or two, and some image searches tended to have a ton of these YouTube images. But the user experience with these tends to be mixed as some of the images are larger, others are only a thumbnail size – 120×90.
The images shown all seem to come from the screenshot shown for individual videos in YouTube’s own search results. The sizes of the images shown in the search results vary from 1280×720 down to the 120×90 thumbnail size. Google is using the title of the YouTube video for ranking these images.
If you get a lot of traffic via Google Image Search, you might want to check your keywords and see if YouTube images are displayed prominently. However I also suspect this is something we could see become spammy, ones some SEOs try and take advantage of it for higher value image search keywords.
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