Top stories images aren’t showing in Google Search

The company has confirmed that it’s a bug and is working to resolve it.

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Beginning early this morning, there have been numerous reports of images not loading in Google’s Top stories carousel (as seen below). The issue seems to affect search results globally and Google has confirmed that it’s a bug.

UPDATE: “This bug has now been largely mitigated,” Google tweeted on Thursday.

Featured images in the Top stories carousel are not loading due to a bug
The Top stories carousel, where featured images are not currently loading. Some have also taken screenshots in which only one or two of the stories feature an image that loaded as usual.

A problem on Google’s end. “Yeah, it looks like an issue on our side,” Google’s John Mueller tweeted regarding the issue. The company is currently working to correct the bug, Danny Sullivan, the company’s public search liaison, has confirmed.

Why we care. A blurred featured image may negatively affect your clickthrough rate, so make sure to annotate your reports to reflect this oddity. Some professionals have taken screenshots showing the Top stories carousel with just one or two images that loaded successfully, which could mean fewer clicks for the stories that didn’t show a featured image. And, since the Top stories carousel is an important source of visibility and traffic for some publishers, this could also impact advertising revenue and other marketing opportunities that depend on getting a user onto your site if the bug goes unresolved for an extended period. Fortunately, Google is already aware of the issue — we’ll continue to provide updates as they come in.


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About the author

George Nguyen
Contributor
George Nguyen is the Director of SEO Editorial at Wix, where he manages the Wix SEO Learning Hub. His career is focused on disseminating best practices and reducing misinformation in search. George formerly served as an editor for Search Engine Land, covering organic and paid search.

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