Google Image Search, a tool which allows users to easily find images by typing in specific search terms, phrases and keywords.
Many people utilize Google Image search to find images for a wide variety of topics, which can range from pictures of cars to celebrities and furniture.
Images can not only make your website visually attractive: they can help you to gain more daily search engine traffic.
Highly relevant image results show up at the top of Google’s search results page when one searches for specific topics. Getting listed in this prime position can possibly send a great deal of traffic to your website.
Introduction to Google Image Search Optimization
Google Image Search optimization is not a difficult process and only requires that you pay attention to how you label and use your images within the regular framework of your website. A lot of image optimization involves basic search optimization factors such as the inclusion of relevant keywords in the content, title and meta tags.
All of the articles I’ve read on the topic of Google Images optimization seem to be in common agreement and they offer similar suggestions, although a few of them do highlight some different methods of utilizing Google Image Search.
19 Ways to Get More Traffic Using Google Image Search
I’ve made a full list of all the methods I’ve come across so that all of you can have an accessible reference point, should you decide to use Google Images as a method to drive more traffic to your website.
Also added are a few points of my own, specifically dealing with how targeting specific image topics and integrating them within your webpages can help to attract a great deal more traffic through Google images.
Depending on your niche and images used, you’ll be able to attract a great deal of extra visitors easily with very little additional work. I highly recommending putting at least a few of these points into practice on your own website.
Here is the list of Google image optimization tips in full:
1. Insert keywords into your Alt Text.
This is the most important part of image optimization and you should include a keyword or phrase that is relevant to the image and your webpage. The alt text should be inserted in the code for your image file.
2. Name your Images with Descriptive Titles.
If you have an image of Lindsay Lohan, you could use the term ‘lindsay-lohan.jpg’ to name your image, instead of simply going with the original file name which could be something like ‘b473.jpg’. I usually name my images exactly the same way as my alt text.
3. Use relevant text around your images.
It is recommended that descriptive text with your targeted keywords be placed immediately before or after the image itself. If you do a search for any term on Google Image, you’ll find that a short description of 20+ characters beneath every image. You’ll probably notice that the keyword is listed in bold as well.
4. Use Adsense to assess overall content relevance.
Insert an Adsense unit on the page where your googe images are placed and see what type of Adsense ads show up. This will tell you how Google thinks the overall theme of what your page is about.Change your content until the Adsense units reflect the keywords you want to target. In my opinion, this is not only applies to Google images but is a generally helpful method as it improves your overall latent semantic indexing score and makes your site appear more relevant to Google for targeted key phrases or words.
5. Optimize Your Title and Meta tags.
This should already be part of your overall optimization strategy and it purportedly helps your site to rank better in image searches as well. Like the use of Adsense for testing, paying attention to this point will help you to have better visibility in Google’s main search engine as well.
6. Use anchor text keywords in links to images.
When you link to a specific image, use keywords instead of a generic phrase. For example, instead of using “See here” or “Click for Full Size“, try something like “Lindsay Lohan Picture” or “Lindsay Lohan in Rehab“.
7. Use Internal and Social Site Tags for your Images
If you are using images with little or no textual content, it might be helpful to tag your images using internal tagging functions or social tags like Technorati. This may add more weight to your image and help it to rank better. If you are uploading your images using Flickr, remember to use the appropriate keyword tags as well.
8. Use Broad Categories of Images to Get a Larger Audience
If you’re running a gadget website, you don’t have to only upload pictures of gadgets. Try upload pictures of web 2.0 sites, web applications and pictures of items related to your gadgets. For example, you can upload pictures of living rooms instead, if the gadget was designed to complement residential space.
9. Make Your Image folder accessible to search engines
10. Re-upload your pictures to maintain search freshness
If you have a picture that focuses on highly popular keywords, you can try to remove and re-upload another version of your image because freshness might affect relevancy and may rejuvenate your ranking on the Google Image Search engine.
11. Make your Google Images Standards-compliant.
One way of making your images fully standards complaint requires you to include not only the alt tag but also the width, height and title tag for the image as well. Here’s an example of a fully compliant image reference you can follow.
12. Enable Google Image Search in Webmaster Central.
Visit Google Webmaster Tools and click on the Diagnostic tab on the menu bar. After which, select enhanced image search on the left sidebar and click on the checkbox to opt into image search for your website. This can only be done after you verify your website with Google so do that before proceeding further.
13. Try out Google Image Labeler.
Apparently, the Google Image Labeler is some sort of a online game which allows you and others to write tags for images that show up. These tags are then taken into consideration and may influence the Google Image search results.
15. HotLink Images from Google Search
This involves going to Google Image Search and to do a search query for the image you want. Visit the original webpage and copy the image location to hotlink it on your own website. This helps your website to show up high among the image search ranks. For an example, check out these search results for Jessica Alba (slightly NSFW).Most of the images in the top row are hotlinked and actually rank better than the original image source. You should probably note that hotlinking is frowned upon by most webmasters because it leeches their bandwidth, not to mention that you might be violating copyrights as well.
An alternative method of hotlinking is to hotlink Google’s cache itself. This short tutorial gives clear indication of how to do it but this method only allows you to use thumbnails, not to mention that some webmasters have reported seeing no results after trying this method.
16. Use Image Sizing to Target a Search Term.
The size of your image may determine the amount of visits you receive from Google Image Search. Some people use Google Image to search for wallpapers and if you’re targeting a specific keyword, try creating it in the form of a wallpaper or in the form of an icon, depending on how much competition there is for the specific image.
17. Use Images about ‘Hot’ Topics.
One easy way to get more visitors from Google images involves the deliberate use of images to catch visitors who are searching for ‘hot’ topics, some of which can be easily found through the use of Google Trends. For example, screenshots of popular ongoing TV shows could be integrated in some way in some webpages. Note that for maximum effect, your content should be relevant to the image used as well.
18. Create a separate page and link to the page and image
This process involves adding an optimized page webpage on your website along and link the image to that specific page which visitors can access via the ‘back’ anchor on the new page whenever they find your page through Google Image Search.I have not personally tried this but some have claimed that it helps both the regular search rank as well as the Image Search rank. See this page for the method in full.
19. Monitor the Number of Google Images Indexed
An important part of Google Image Search optimization is to monitor how many images on your website are indexed by Google Image Search to see if you are taking the right steps to optimize your images.The easiest way to do this is to use a site search operator. For example, here is a list of images indexed on Boing Boing. Simply change boingboing.net to your url: http://images.google.com/images?q=site:boingboing.net<
One way to get more search engine traffic is to optimize your website for