Tips for ranking high on Google Image Search

Tips for ranking high on Google Image Search

Ranking high on Image search engines like Yahoo, Google or MSN, can bring a good amount of traffic to your website. However, unlike regular web search where we know how search engines rank content, the rules associated with Image search rankings are quite different.

Here are a few simple optimization tips that you can use to improve your ranking on Google Images Search:
  • Use a descriptive image filename - If your webpage has pictures of Steve Jobs' house - use filenames like steve-jobs-house.jpg instead of the default camera file name like DSC0001.jpg

  • Attach a 7-8 word description with both the ALT and TITLE attributes of the IMG tag - Make it a habit to use these attributes. An example could be <img src="/inside-steve-jobs-house.jpg" alt="Steve Jobs' House - Study" title="Inside the Study of Steve Jobs' House" width="250" height="250" />

  • A short two line description of the image just beneath the graphic is the best way to describe an image. It can work wonders for your image search rankings as well. For a live example, read any news story on the BBC website or see the screenshot on your right.

  • If possible, try to wrap text around your images using float.

  • If your site design won't allow wrapping text or if the image is large in size, try to place the images near the text that describes the context of your image. If the image is of an Adobe Photoshop box, don't place that image near the paragraph that describes Corel Photopaint.

  • Web Images placed at the top of the page are more likely to appear in search results than the ones which are at the bottom. I have no proof to explain this but it's just an observation.

  • Web Photo Galleries which have no text descriptions can make use of the Title and Meta tags to insert information about the images.

  • The HTML tags enclosing the image descriptions will also matter. A descriptions enclosed in H3 or Bold tag will have more weight than the one enclosed in the Parapraph tag.

If you are aware of any more tricks or suggestions, please drop a comment here.

Again, while ranking high on Image search engines can drive lot of new traffic, it can also shoot up your bandwidth bill as people may hotlink images hosted on your webserver.