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Ivan's picture

Optimize your site for google image search

google image search

Google images can bring as much traffic to your site as google search itself. You just need to take a few important steps to make sure Google has an easy task at indexing them.

  • Most importantly enable enhanced image search in google sitemasters tools. Find it under Diagnostics / Tools / Enhanced Image Search
  • Give meaningful names to your images. picture1.jpg will not do. GreenSeaTurtle.jpg is much better.
  • Give long description tags to your images. Example: longdesc="Green sea turtle underwater nature photography". (Thanks Steve for the tip!)
  • The alt tag should be used for a short description such as alt="turtle" in case the image doesn't appear for any reason and because most likely Google uses it to index the images as well. It should however be empty if the image is used purely for decorative purposes.
  • Upload images as big as possible. Link big size images to the previews used on your site. The bigger the image the more priority is gets.
  • The title of the page where your image resides matters. Although you will not be naming your page to optimize for the image, but still good to know.

You can check which images are indexed on your site if you replace with your domain:

If your site has not yet been indexed for images — be patient. It may take up to 6 month for them to appear on Google.

Finally, if you have some time help google images to be a better search engine. Play the Image Labeler game. If you are opted into enhanced image search your images will benefit from playing the game too.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

SMQT's picture
8 pencils

I've always learned that Google interprets hyphens in filenames as spaces.
So Green-Sea-Turtle.jpg would read as three words.
Underscore is interpreted as an alphanumeric and part of the word, so Green_Sea_Turtle.jpg would read as one word.
I guess this is also useful info for optimizing images.

Slow Motion, Quick Thinking

mindsmack's picture
9 pencils

I am always amazed at how the Internet works and of course how search engines process information. Most intriguing with our name is how people use it externally of our company. Since MindSmack is not a "word" people still use it as you can see in a few photos that pop up when you search for MindSmack in the google image search box.

Put in any "word" that is not a dictionary approved "word" any you will get some crazy results.

Gotta love the Internet :p

Sam Feuer

KEWLBIT's picture
4 pencils

Hi there,

talking about raising the traffic on your websites is good, but dont abuse xhtml for the wrong reasons.

the contents of alt-tags are intended to give people with textbrowsers or reading-machines (i.e. blind people) an opportunity to understand what is shown in the picture in context of its relating text-content on the website.

please read these documents about web-accessability if you are not shure what I am talking about:

Imagine you mis-use alt tags for the indexing on google, think about what the visitors will "hear" using such a reading machine.

also, be aware that on some browsers the content of alt-tags is shown as long as the image has not completly been loaded.

keep alt-tags short, precise, *comfortable for their real users* and as what they have been invented for .. an text-alternative for images.


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