Leveraging Google Image Search in SEO

The world’s most popular search engine Google has a very useful service called Google Image Search which helps users search the Web for image content by generating query-relevant results on the fly. Being the most comprehensive image search engine it has already indexed billions of images from websites. When conducting an image search, you can configure your search settings by specifying the size or type of the image you’re looking for.

Today Google Image Search is the most popular image search facility on the internet. In fact it receives more traffic than Yahoo, Window Live Search or Ask Jeeves.

How can Google Image Search be of any help to you?

There is more traffic coming through Google Image Search than major search engines in the UK, it gets more visits than websites such as MySpace or Amazon. What this means is that Google Image Search can be a source to bring additional traffic to your website. The main reason to begin optimizing for Google Image Search is that it’s not as competitive as normal search engines, even though it can provide a large amount of traffic. Regardless of the fact that high rankings in Google Image Search does not really help your actual search engine rankings, it can contribute a great deal to your site eventually appearing at the top of the SERPS.

How Do I Get My Images to appear on Google Image Search?

Unlike the way you submit your website or sitemap to Google getting Google’s imaging spider to see your images is a completely different procedure. Google Image Bot is a program, it cannot actually “see” images, so it determines an image’s relevancy and whether to index it in other way. These factors are:

1. Descriptive Image Name

Embedding keyword terms in image content is essential! Name your images after their subject. For instance, if you want to appear at the top of Google Image Search listings for the London Eye you have to call it something like ‘london-eye.jpg’ and not leave it as ‘imag0080.jpg’. Accordingly, if you have subject-related folders, name them descriptively, too.

2. Compliant Images

Accessibility compliant images are more descriptive and relevant. To have a compliant image you need to meet a number of criteria like ‘src’ attribute specifying the URL of the image, a width and height statement in pixels, an ‘alt’ attribute describing the content of the image, etc.

3. On-page optimization

You should keep in mind when creating the layout for the webpage that in order to get high rankings in Google Image Search, you will need to optimize the whole page for the image. Focusing not only on relevant content but specifically on the content in close proximity to the image is essential for Image Search optimization.

4. Website Relevancy

Website Relevancy is considered to be of vital importance for SEO. If you have an image gallery dedicated to the London Eye, try to create a ‘theme’ within your website with more than one page on the subject matter and inter-link those pages. Also, Google’s Image Guidelines suggest saving all related images in the same folder.

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