SEOmoz recently published a study of optimizing images. This may be seemingly unimportant, but Google Images can be a great resource. Someone searching for a recipe might look at the images to find food that looks good. They could be a budding mechanic and looking for the right car part to buy. Whatever the reason, optimizing your site’s images will help attract Google Image Search results. That probably isn’t news. What is a revelation is author Kasy Allen’s investigation of what the Google Image searchbot looks for.
In her test, Google relies heavily on the same factors that go into optimizing text. The title, meta tags, headings, links and anchor text are all important. That’s no different from Google text search. In addition, the filename and alt tag factor into the results, and the bot looks at where the image is hosted. The filename, alt tag and the text around the picture all affect the results. Indeed, optimizing the pictures themselves can outweigh higher pageRank and Domain Authority. Using the right keywords in file name and alt tag might be as important as the site itself.
You may not care about most of the images on your site. Maybe they are just there to amuse readers of your blog. But if you do care, make sure the images are optimized with good keywords in the name, alt tag and description. The extra visitors will make your little bit of effort more than worth it.
And remember…I believe in optimizing images for our own search engine optimization company‘s clients as much as any other agency out there, but it needs to potentially make sense to a human review editor and mesh with best practices as much as possible. For instance: consider how the alt tag can benefit the visually impaired while making your content easier to find in search engines and make that your prime objective, letting the optimization benefits flow through that concern. And stay moderate when deciding how much optimization to put into any aspect of your web pages. Everything makes sense in moderation. Almost nothing makes sense without it.