Getting Images To Appear In Google

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a multi-tentacled beast. Just when you think that you have traffic coming to your site through natural search and pay-per-click campaigns, you realize that you are missing out on a ton of traffic from Google — Images.

Google’s robots can’t do a heck of a lot with images so in order for them to show up in Google’s Image Search, you need to take care to do the following items correctly:

  • Always, always, always use alt tags
    • Not only is this a requirement to make your site accessible and ADA compliant, but it gives Google something to read and relate to on your site. If I were to promote a technical coaching offering, I might have a photo of a football coach on my site (to be clever and all). It would be a compelling photo with great content surrounding it that extolled the benefits of our offering. However, Google wouldn’t know what to do with the image because it can only see my image as an image — not the brilliant marketing concept that it really is. If I added an alt tag with the phrase “Hinutech Digital Coaching Offers You Technical Assistance and Strategy for Your Small Business”, Google would have something to latch onto and would index this image with a link back to my site/page.
  • Put the image name in the title attribute
    • Similar to the alt tag, the title attribute can be a very useful way to further describe your content to search engines. It can be added to virtually any element that you have on your page, and it will be read by search engines as regular page content. The title attribute is much more flexible than the alt tag and when used properly, can result in huge gains for your index-ability within search engines.
  • Don’t use underscores in your image names.
    • Google sees these as one word. For example, an image named Hinutech_Web_Content_Management_System_CMS.jpg would be read by Google as HinutechWebContentManagementSystemCMS which is pretty ineffective for SEO. Instead, you should use hyphens in your image names to serve as word separators. If I called the previous example Hinutech-Web-Content-Management-System-CMS.jpg, then Google would read it as Hinutech Web Content Management System CMS. For SEO purposes, this is ideal. I get the name of my company, a product offering (Hinutech Web), and a solution that people would commonly search for (Content Management System or CMS).

If you utilize these three tips, not only will you enhance the experience for your visitors with disabilities, but you will also increase your site’s relevancy for keywords and get images in Google’s Image Search. Not a bad deal, eh?

SEO is tough, and often times you will need to go back and refactor a good portion of your site to put these principles in use. This can be intimidating, but it must be done to increase the effectiveness of your site. Moving forward, though, keep these tips for dealing with images in mind as you create and update content.

Note: SEO is a WIP. If you go to Hinutech.com, you’ll notice that we have a great deal of work to do there to get this correct. Do as I say, not as I do!

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

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4 Responses to “Getting Images To Appear In Google”

  1. madhubalan Says:

    xcellent post

  2. Tito Says:

    Thanks for the shout on digg… If you get a chance to expand on this, please, do so… I suck at all this shit, and need to get on that!

  3. Josh Says:

    I’ve got a series of articles that I’m working on surrounding this kind of stuff, and once I get them finished, I’ll put more out there. Be sure to subscribe to the feed so that you don’t miss out (though I’ll continue to shout you at Digg)!

  4. martin Says:

    Search Engine Optimization play important role in traffic generation. Traffic comes to your site through Natural SEO and pay-per-click campaigns. Natural SEO must be done to increase the effectiveness of your site. http://www.netcallidus.com

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