Did you know that when you search Google you are actually searching all forms of content?
Referred to nowadays as ‘Universal Search’ , Google search results may include links to the text we are all are accustomed too and then also, picture images, video and audio files. In fact, it is their intention!
“The goal”, says Google’s Bailey, “is to present balanced results based on the search term and move away from the heavy emphasis on only textual Web links that existed prior to the switch to universal search in May 2007.”
As a search marketer, the question you should be asking yourself here is, “have I helped Google to understand my pictures?” In fact, Google is so interested in indexing more pictures they have created Image Labeler – the purpose, in lieu of depending on average human web publishing, is to recruit anyone’s help in the development of better technology for understanding pictures.
Google spiders can read alt tags that have been added to describe an image. Clearly most alternative content [i.e. images, video, audio] is published to the web without any alt text description, but that’s where you can stand out!
So, if Google is looking to index all pictures, if you can index images where most haven’t and if at least some of your purpose is search visibility… why not start immediately? In fact, consider going back into your pages & posts and adding ‘alt tags’ to all pictures.
Typically referred to as ‘alt tags’ or ‘alternative text tags’, your pictures can be labeled easily for search engine indexing and, as a result, consumer visibility. Again, Google can’t see text on/ in an image; however, depending on the content editor you have, there should be an icon for uploading pictures. When clicked you should see a pop up window appear with tabs for 1) picture file upload, 2) add ‘alt tag’ data entry [shown above], and 3) add link [also shown above] areas. Sometimes the ‘alt tag’ data entry will be referred to as ‘alternative text’, ‘image info’ or ‘tool tips’, but I’m certain you get the picture.
In summary, knowing that Google actually wants to understand, to index and to include your picture images in consumer search result pages should do nothing less than heighten your sense of opportunity! Why? Because, if not already, all of your picture images are an immediate chance to get a leg up on the competition. Use alt tags and you may generate more consumer visibility in the search engines!*