January 31, 2009 in Uncategorized, 

SEO: Google Image Search

google-image-seoThere’s more to the modern Internet that just text, people are typing in keywords for images too. If you stick to accessibility guidelines your images will be more accessible to a wider audience and as an added bonus index-able with Google and other search engines.

SEO/Accessible Images

I noticed recently that some of my visitors are coming from Google image search and more impressively they find the image they desire and often are return visitors too.

If you never had a convincing argument to make your clients use appropriate naming conventions and alternate text attributes, you do now, SEO is an easier case to argue than accessibility.

Image Alt Attributes

The ALT attribute should describe the image so that a non visual user can interpret them, chances are the image reflects the content of the page anyway and therefore probably will contain the correct page keyword in the ALT attribute.

Image Naming Conventions

I forget what I was taught in graphic design, I also doubt WCAG covers the naming convention of image files for accessibility’s sake, but for easy file management I use a descriptive naming convention that explains what is happening the the image: cat-sat-on-mat.jpg, as the image supports the content of the page chances are it will also contain your web page keyword.

About Anthony

Anthony Brewitt is Design Bit, has been for years - he's an experienced WordPress Designer, and Muggle-born Marketing Philosopher. Let’s talk about your website; your marketing, blog design, and that cool new mobile web thingy. Contact Anthony

22 Responses to SEO: Google Image Search

  1. Jag

    Good post also login to Google webmaster tools and enable image site search for image labelers. you can see the difference. All the best

  2. Interesting post I have experience the same with traffic coming from Google image search.

    I also post articles to my website from GoArticles.com on web related subjects. One such article was about internet dating this actually got listed on Google on the first page for a search term along the lines on internet dating.

    Also could you recommend any online services for creating an audio version of websites?

  3. @Jag thanks for your tip, I didn’t know about this

  4. Another good tip for improving image search is to create an XML sitemap specifically for images. You can then ‘feed’ additional information to the Search Engines.

    Also, check your robots.txt files. Some web developers exclude Search Engine access to the images and javascript folders.

  5. Ah, good point- thank you!

  6. It is all about the keywords chosen for image tags. You can really isolate what type of visitor you want with the right keywords.

  7. very good post. something to take for our SEO team.

  8. Apparently the text surrounding the image can affect the SEO too, though hopefully the image supports the surrounding paragraphs anyway.

  9. Interesting — I think I may have read something about this very subject yesterday: on Chris Pearson’s blog, possibly? I’m gonna need to do a scan over my sites’ images, I think; although I doubt you’d get many conversions from image-search viewers anyway.

  10. hmmmm, i am always renaming my images to consider visits from google image search

  11. thank you so much, but what do you think it is better to do , to put “-” dashes between the words in the image file name, or to use “_” under scores ???


  12. @ Zaidimai; I use the minus symbol between my image words, I don’t know that one is better than the other but both methods describe the image and therfore also aid in your website maintainance.

  13. Great post – I also wrote on the subject and shared some additional tips here http://internetmarketingabc.com/?p=206

  14. Ever since I started doing web design a few years ago Ive always included alt tags and its not just a seo issue its basic accessibility too.

  15. Alt tag your images and name the files in English with hyphens rather then underscores to seperate words and search engines will love you for it. Simple.

  16. marcus

    I guess it se till going to be a bigger search engine since many are using the google api like http://www.unlimages.com

  17. I have question as for naming conventions – many SEO experts claim alt tags are supposed to contain keywords – but most of images on our site is decribed rather by informative description of an image than KW. Would you try to adjust decriptions so that they contacin KWs?

  18. @Peter, I would suggest your alt convention is perfect, I would also suggest that as the photo should support the content and that the alt tags should describe the photo that the alt tags should naturally contain keywords.

    I’m still not sure if alt tags in images do increase SEO.

  19. I’m pleased you have brought this up. Some of our clients are benefiting greatly from keyword rich images on Google image searches and it is exactly like you said, the visitors do return!

    Images and keyword relevancy go hand-in-hand with SEO and it is a great little nugget of gold to further optimise your site with.

    Nice post!

  20. Keywords in your alt tags are good except in the instances where the keyword does not reflect the images chosen of course. But yes google image search is definitely a great tool to driving up traffic to your site.

  21. Very good primer on the subject and should help many businesses better understand SEO. I will be recommending it.

  22. That’s why Google is the #1 Search engine. We need to understand this better. Valuable Information. Thank you!

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