Google's Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, recently discovered something quite big - that if you use Instagram and use Instagram's embed code, Google most likely will not rank the image on your site in image search! Yikes!!
It was when he was asked a question about why a site had seen a major drop in image search traffic after embedding Instagram images, via his YouTube channel, that he decided to investigate. The actual question was “I changed normal images to Instagram embeds on one of my articles and saw a decrease in rankings clicks etc for image search. It was a 43 percent decrease in image search clicks overnight on a very reliable article. Can you talk a bit about the difference between normal images versus Instagram embeds from Google's perspective?” He then relays how he went on to create a test page to see how it worked. He discovered that Instagram on the embeds use a no index robots meta tag, that tells Google that they don't want those images indexed together with the page itself. He went on to explain "But what really kind of breaks the story for us is that within the content that is embedded from from Instagram on with within the iframe. They use a no index robots meta tag. And this meta tag tells us that you don't want those images indexed together with the page itself. So if we just look at that iframe content we can recognize that there's an image, there we can crawl that image but with that meta tag you're basically telling us that you don't want this image index together with that landing page."
So now the cat is out of the bag on this one, an issue that many will see as a big problem, the only real solution at present is to include the image itself as well in your HTML, if you do want to use the embed and also want to image indexed with the page? Watch this space!