SEO Tip #65: How Can A Photographer’s Image Focused Site Gain PageRank?

Matt Cutts: That’s a fantastic question because Google really doesn’t understand the content of images yet. We’re getting better. We have Google Goggles that can take a picture of a landmark and recognize it as a landmark, but understanding in general what an image is, is one of the hardest problems in computer science.

The advice that I would give is look at ways you can incorporate data around the image. It could be within the meta information within the image. It can be the title. It can be the name of the image. I can be a paragraph of text around the image. It can even be characteristics of the webpage like the title of the webpage that has that image. So there are a lot of places to put text.

One tip that I would recommend is introduce a place where people can leave comments because if you think about something like Flickr, if you have a picture we might not know what that picture is but then you have 30 comments down below where people will say, “Oh that is a beautiful portrait. Oh that woman is so pretty. Oh I love the light shining in from the side on the barn door,” Or whatever.

Just in the process of users talking about the picture you’ll often end up with the keywords whether it be portrait or woman or barn door or sunlight that you would like to show up for anyway. So if you have the time to label your images or maybe label the images that you think are the best, maybe not all of your images but put some time in for the images that you would like to rank for that can make a difference.

Then introducing functionality where people can comment on images can be another way where you can attract textual content that the search engines can understand. Of course this doesn’t change that fact that as a photographer you can always promote yourself in all kinds of different ways from having shows to talking to reporters about your work; all of that are ways to get links to your website. Then the more links you have to your website you can direct around and within to the various photographs.

But naming your galleries, having descriptive names on your images, all these sort of tricks are ways that are not really tricks. Rather techniques to introduce more textual content so that search engines can kind of understand what’s in the image and you can sort of show up a little higher in the search engines.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the Author

Andy Johnson

Andy Johnson has been on the Internet since the its dawn(ie his first computer program was recorded on cassette tape) and his first hard drive cost about as much his current MacBook. His first byline was in 1993 for a local newspaper rag he eventually helmed, and his last “real job” was at a computer start up which ended when it ended. Throughout it all he’s freelanced and blogged. Now he is mesmerized by Search Engine Optimization forever trying to “rise to the top” for the right reasons. He’s been married to his wife Julia for as long as he can remember and has two lovely, wonderful children. He looks forward to sharing the latest in the technical best for all the online entrepreneurs.