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Image Search and Optimization

Published: Mar 11, 2008

Many websites are now providing relevant pictures that web users are interested to see. It is a search engine’s intent to get the websites in front of the consumers searching for things relevant to those pictures. It sounds like a match made in heaven, but there is work to be to done to arrange this marriage. Web users can look at an image and see if the website provides what they are looking for, but web crawlers on the other hand cannot tell if a picture is relevant to the search. It is up to you to “paint the picture” and tell the crawlers what your picture looks like. Follow these few steps to make sure your page is found by both the target audience and the wondering crawler.

1) Insert an alt tag that is relevant to your pictures:
img width=”width” src=”http://www.juno.com/imageurl” mce_src=”http://www.juno.com/imageurl” alt=”description” height=”height”

The ALT tag will determine how search engines will index your page. This will help crawlers identify what is in your pictures.

2) Add textual content tightly associated with your images. In most cases textual content will be indexed, and if it is tightly coupled to the image, it will allow search engines to identify the image content.

3) Use links to provide descriptive information by inserting a title tag:
a href=”link url” title=”descriptive title”>text or image

Not only will this simple tag help determine link relevancy and boost search engine ranking, viewers can see the descriptive title when you mouse over the image or link text.

4) The textual content of your web page will play a role in search engine optimization. Be sure to add descriptions to your photos and gallery sections. Take advantage of forums and blogs to create “link backs” to your pictures and gallery, this will ensure an enhanced web presence.

5) In your site, make sure text in the links to other portions of your site matches the target that they go to. If the destination is an image, make sure the alt tag text matches the link text.

If you follow these simple steps, you are on your way in helping web users find your website, and helping crawlers to crawl your site.

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Contributed by: Gary Tsang, Milestone Internet

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