When I saw the tweet from Google Developers in late August 2019 about the new #AskChrome video series, I was excited!
Who wouldn’t want an opportunity to ask a question to the Google Chrome team and get it answered live on video?
The first episode was delayed from its expected September 4, 2019 launch to September 25, 2019. I finally saw it this week.
In the 13-minute video, they discuss
- Browser support for images, what is the future of the WebP format?
- Future image formats
- Whether SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) images are search engine friendly
- Making images more accessible
Here are my top takeaways from the video:
- WebP support is not supported in the Safari browser. Weiss hopes that the Safari team will reconsider and support it in the future.
- If you’re using the WebP format to serve images, make sure you add a fallback (for example, PNG file) for browsers that don’t support WebP
- AVIF, a future image format based on the AV1 video format, offers great compression gains. But that’s a tradeoff when it comes to decoding speed, it’s too high to be used for web images.
- SVGs will be indexed and display on Google Images. (Text in the code of an SVG is not indexed.)
- Inline images with SVG don’t get indexed
- The image alternative text attribute, often called alt text, isn’t required for SEO. But it is required for accessibility purposes so all users can understand an image.
- Two useful image attributes:
sizeshelp define images in your markup
- Stop using animated GIFs: they’re too large in size to add to a web page. Use video or animated WebP.
- The largest image on the web (based on responses to a tweet) is 59MB. Through downsizing and compression, Eric Portis of Cloudinary reduced the size to 60K.
Glad I watched this video! Good tips and reminders about images: Safari doesn’t support WebP format (be sure to add a fallback), replace animated GIFs with videos, and my first time learning about the AVIF format.
Have to admit getting the opportunity to ask the Google Chrome team questions which they answer in a live video is pretty amazing.
Follow the Chrome Developers Twitter account for their announcements for topics for the next episode in #AskChrome.