This post is about how your graphic image content (and thus eventually, the URL where that image is located) can get picked up by the Google Image Search system and get ranked higher up. Why is this important? Because, plenty of people use Google Image located at – images.google.com to search for images that they can use or copy for the digital content. And so, you have a visitor!
Many people think that just by naming their image file with the keyword that they desire, and by inserting a descriptive “alt” tag text in the HTML code, the Google’s Image Search system will index your image and thus your page. This is absolutely not true! While this does have some weightage, it is very very minimal.
So, then just how does Google Image Indexing and search system work? More so, whats the trick to get listed higher up?
Here is the secret: Google image spider looks at the text before and after the image and uses these words as theimage tag. Precisely, about 20 to 50 words before and after. Although the text of the entire page is spidered, the text that lies in close proximity of the image carries more weigth. Further, the text words located before the image, carry slightly more weight than the words located after the image.
So here is what things look like…
20~50 words before (weighted slightly more) <image> 20~50 words after (Weighted slightly less)
Another important factor is the proximity of the keywords before and after the image. Therefore, between the 2 following cases below … Case B would come out ahead
xxx xxx xxx xxx social media xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx <image> xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx social media xxx xxx <image> xxx xxx xxx
Also note: if the keyword is present before and after the image – that will definitely help it rank higher!
So, to sum it up – by all means use the ALT tag, and name the image based on its keyword, but definitely also stuff a bit of keyword text before and after the actual image… the closer to the image – the better!
All of this, will help improve your Google image rank listing and bring you that much needed extra traffic. Try some random keyowrd examples, to get an idea – like… jet fighter, warrior tank, social media etc.
Added later on 28th April 2008 – Do have a read of this post… Google experiments with next gen image search.