For me, PNG is the unsung hero of image formatting. Typically, I only use JPEGs for bigger, more visual images taken by a true photographer. But, for my daily use, PNG is the way to go.
2. Compress Your Images
Yep, hell hath no fury like a bloated web page after uploading an image that’s not compressed.
Search engines will look at your web page like you might look at a big vat of Crisco: You can’t seriously be considering putting that on you your website, right?
According to HTTP Archive, images make up on average 21% of a total webpage’s weight.
That’s why I highly recommend compressing your images before uploading to your site. You can do this in Photoshop or you can use a tool like TinyPNG. TingPNG also has a WordPress plugin you can use too.
However, I prefer WP Smush as my WordPress plugin. It reduces the image file size without removing the quality. Whatever plugin you use, make sure to find one that compresses the images externally on their servers. It reduces the load on your own site.
Or, take it a step further and use an image CDN that detects the device and optimizes the image prior to delivery. Cloudinary and Imgix are two options to try out.
Increasingly.com improved website speed by 33% / 2 seconds by compressing images.
I mean, there’s just something sexy about faster page speed when after you compress your images.
If you’re unsure how your images are affecting your page speed, I recommend using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
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3. Create Unique Images
You want your photos to pop on your site. If you fill your website with stock imagery, you’ll look unoriginal – like thousands of other sites that don’t stand out.
Too many websites are cluttered with the same generic stock photos.
Think about a corporate website, a consulting firm, a business that prides itself on customer service. All these websites use virtually the same looking stock image of a businessman smiling.
I’m sure you’ve seen one that looks like this:
While you may have your stock images perfectly optimized, it won’t have the same impact or potential SEO benefits as an original, high-quality image.
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The more original pictures you have, the better experience for the user and the better your odds are of ranking on relevant searches.
Keep in mind that large images are more likely to be featured in Google Discover. As Google recommends in its Advanced SEO resource, “Large images need to be at least 1200 px wide and enabled by the max-image-preview:large setting, or by using AMP.” Do not use your logo as the image.
If Getty, Shutterstock, DepositFiles, or some other stock photo provider owns an image you use, and you don’t have a license to use it, then you’re risking an expensive lawsuit.
Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), you could be issued a notice if you have violated any copyright issues. If the owner of a piece of content sees their content on your website, they can issue a DMCA Takedown which you must comply with.
When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is absolutely crucial.
Not customizing your image file name is like getting a burrito with nothing in it. It just plain sucks.
Image file names alert Google and other search engine crawlers as to the subject matter of the image.
Typically, file names will look like “IMG_722019” or something similar. That’s like ordering from a menu in a different language. It doesn’t help Google.
Change the file name from the default to help the search engines understand your image and improve your SEO value.
This involves a bit of work, depending on how extensive your media library is, but changing the default image name is always a good idea. Let’s take this image of chocolate for example:
I could name it simply “chocolate” but if you sell chocolate on your website, potentially every image can be named “chocolate-1,” “chocolate-2,” and so on.
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I named this image “dark-chocolate-coffee” to let users and search engines understand the image.
6. Write SEO-Friendly Alt Text
Alt tags are a text alternative to images when a browser can’t properly render them. Similar to the title, the alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file.
When the image won’t load, you’ll get an image box with the alt tag present in the top left corner. Make sure they fit with the image and make the picture relevant.
Paying attention to alt tags is also beneficial to the overall on-page SEO strategy. You want to make sure that all other optimization areas are in place, but if the image fails to load for any reason, users will see what the image is supposed to be.
Plus, adding appropriate alt tags to the images on your website can help your website achieve better rankings in the search engines by associating keywords with images. Even Google has remarked on the value of alt text in images.
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It provides Google with useful information about the subject matter of the image. We use this information to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query.
Alt text is required under the American Disabilities Act for individuals who are unable to view images themselves. A descriptive alt text can alert users exactly what is in the photo. For example, say you have a picture of chocolate on your website.
The alt text could read:
<img src=”chocolate-1.jpg” alt=”chocolate”/>
However, a better alternative text that describes the image would read:
Alt text is viewable in the cached text version of the page, aiding in its benefit to both users and the search engines. For further SEO value, the alt text can act as the anchor text of an internal link when the image links to a different page on the site.
7. Think About the Image File Structure
In 2018, Google updated its Image Guidelines. One of the major updates they revealed was that they use the file path and file name to rank images.
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Repeat: The file path and file name is an actual ranking factor.
For example, if you’re an ecommerce brand with multiple products, instead of placing all your product images into a generic /media/ folder, I would recommend structuring your subfolders to more category related topics like /shorts/ or /denim/.
8. Make Your Page Title & Description
Google also revealed that it uses your page title and description as part of its image search algorithm.
The Google support page states:
“Google Images automatically generates a title and snippet to best explain each result and how it relates to the user query… We use a number of different sources for this information, including descriptive information in the title, and meta tags.”
I’ve been on the edge about if I should report or not report some of the chatter and signals I am seeing around a possible Google search ranking algorithm update. I was seeing some somewhat small signs since the weekend of an update but those signals are picking up a little bit more a few days in.
So I figured I’d document it and share what I see thus far. There have been some people asking me if there was an update over the weekend. I do not think there was a big update, maybe something that impacted specific niches or tactics but nothing widespread like a core update.
But starting over the weekend there has been chatter at both WebmasterWorld and BlackHatWorld about another update this weekend. Here is some of that chatter:
How is your USA traffic? Traffic to my home page is down 65% today at 11:30am…USA down 41% overall, however my UK traffic has surged 60% along with AU and CA. It actually seems that traffic is being throttled hour by hour now. USA traffic might pick up later in the day, but in general whatever this change is it’s caused me to lose a considerable amount of traffic and customers since the 8th. It could be Passage Indexing or not, only time will tell.
Traffic totally died off today. It’s like everyone just suddenly disappeared from the surface of this planet and gone somewhere else.
This Google update (yes, I’m calling it an update because that’s really what it is) is like Lindsay Lohan on meth…very erratic and highly destructive. Traffic is being throttled by the hour now. Yesterday I started with UK traffic surging and USA way down. By end of day UK traffic was also down, Canada dropped 50%. Today USA / CA / AU traffic all up but UK is down 57%. Every day different, and even surging or dropping like a stone from hour to hour. Anyone else seeing this?
Has anyone seen anything over this weekend? I have 2 sites, 1 recovered with the December core update, and 1 got hit. I’m now seeing a complete reversal over the weekend for the sites, the recovered one has been hit hard and the one that got hit has returned to pre-December rankings. The one that got hit again is a really strange one, the dreaded filter is really smashing it down, it’s actively pushing it down for some reason, 1 KW went from page 5-6 to page 14, most others phrases have dropped 3-6 pages
I see some position movements since Sunday. Some positions going up and some are going down. Looks like another random update is on its way.
Apparently there is another update, I lost more than 70% of my traffic since Sunday.
Yes, I expected people to write now. My main website is dancing like crazy. Down 40 keywords on Sunday – up 40 keywords today, totally random.
My traffic yesterday actually went up a good 30% compared to the past month. Not sure how today is going to go, but yesterday was more comparable to pre-January update. I actually have been busy so I have done few changes in the past 5-6 weeks on this one site.
Some of the tracking tools are showing some fluctuations, but the tools are not 100% in sync with each other.
Google Search Consoleのフェッチとレンダリングツールを使用して、Googleがサイトをクロールしてスキャンする方法を確認します。フェッチツールを使用すると、ウェブクロールボットであるGooglebotが一部のウェブページにアクセスできるかどうかを確認できます。次に、ページがどのようにレンダリングされるかを確認し、クローラーをブロックしている可能性のあるスクリプトと画像を特定します。