Google has made many changes to its search engine, resulting in changes to the Google image search results as well. It first started with the Panda update and later the Penguin update. There is, however, a more recent update, which took effect on 23 January 2013. That was the Google Image Search UI Update.
Comparison to the Previous Google Image Search
The previous way in which image results appeared allowed publishers to benefit more. This was in terms of the fact that the resized image would pop up with the web information to click through to for the optimized image. In terms of this, the new view caused some to .
The image search results offer a better user experience, but for an SEO firm, this is a great loss. It completely reduced the levels of traffic to websites to the point from which there seems to be no recovery at this point. It therefore comes highly recommended for an SEO company to place this kind of SEO at the bottom of its search traffic initiatives.
Change in SEO Strategy
It would not serve any agency, for now, any purpose to use this as part of its strategy. The reason is that, because of the Google image search UI update, it would not assist your client page views and as a result the page ranking. This is for the reason that Google does not offer the click through to websites any longer.
According to Google, this is to improve the experience for the users, as the images would load faster with the new interface. Thus, you do not need to click through to a website to see the optimized image. A further reason is that it also assists with lessening the load on the server where the image is located. They have also indicated that the accuracy of Webmaster metrics has improved, especially with regard to page views, for example.
The Negative Impact of this Update
The difficulty with this new interface is that it takes two clicks to get to the image website host. Another negative for hosting websites is that Google offers the high-resolution image in the Google search results, which makes it unnecessary to click through to the image hosting website.
What is frustrating about the update is that it made a lot of work, done by your Company, near redundant. The reason for this is that, many have made every effort to follow image SEO best practices, which is now no longer valid. This has greatly affected those websites with a high percentage of image search traffic. Those who had low image search traffic would not have noticed much of a change, though.
At this point in time there is not much of a solution for agencies. Until a solution is devised, whereby image best practice can be fully utilized to the benefit of especially image websites, image SEO is not a priority right now.