Webmaster tips » SEO

Nov 2, 2009
Adam Bezonian

How to Get Your Pictures On Top of Google Image Search

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Everybody talks about SEO for Google. But what about Google image search? Why would you want your pictures to come up there first? Well, the answer is simple: you get more visitors from image search. For example web-page that talks about dogs, gets reasonable amount of visitors from those who's searching for dogs or puppies etc. It could be a good idea to promote your products through those pictures as well. At the moment the competitions in this field is average, so being successful could be fast.

Google bots, that are indexing web-pages doesn't see like we do. It means, that they can't look at picture and tell there's a little puppy with a bone. Only people can do that. For bots you have to use optimizing techniques.

It has been a lot of talking about Google image search but it still isn't 100% sure how it's working. Google haven't published their algorithm. But we can surely state:

  • The most important is pictures' ALT (alternate text) attribute. If there's appletree on the picture then you should add this to ALT attribute like that: <img src="name-and-location-of-picture.jpg" alt="apple tree" title="apple tree"/>. As you can see in example put the same keyword to the title attribute (it's shows up when user moves cursor on top of picture).
  • Name your picture file whit the right name. If there's a dog on the picture then name it dog.jpg
  • Use same keywords around the picture that you're optimizing your picture for. Context is very important. For example:

    My dog is the best dog <img src="dog.jpg" alt="dog" title="dog" />. But your dog?

  • For photos the jpg format is better than gif. Google thinks by default that photos are in jpg and design elements in gif format.
  • Web-page title (<title> tag) counts. Your page title has impact on your picture. If you google ,,dog“, some results my come up just because they have ,,dog” in title tag.
  • Put your pictures at the beginning of the web-page. The closer the pictures are to title the more impact it has. Google thinks that pictures at the beginning are more important.
  • The higher the quality of pictures the better. Because then more people will notice it and click on it.
  • Link to picture with the according keyword. If there's dog on the picture then don't put "click here" for anchor text, better is dog
  • Avoid using javascript for opening, showing or serving up bigger version of pictures.
  • Register your web-page at Google Webmaster Tools and under the Settings find “Include my site in Google Image Labeler” and make a mark in the box.
  • Tag your pictures with Google Image Labeler.

If you use all of these tactics you should do better than 95% of your competitors.

Good luck with optimizing your pictures!

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