Though we do not use images here at Phoenixrealm if you have a website or blog that does use images you should take into consideration the impact that they might have on your page rank. According to Microsoft’s patent application entitled SCORING RELEVANCE OF A DOCUMENT BASED ON IMAGE TEXT they have developed a way to “score images” found on web pages and use that score for different applications such as:
- ranking web pages of a search result based on their image scores;
- determining relevance of a document to a text string (image text);
and, as Bill Slawski pointed out in his post “How Search Engines May Use Images to Rank Web Pages”,
- determining whether an image of a document should be included in a summary, or snippet, of the document;
- using an image score calculated from a comparison of image text to a textual description of a class to determine the similarity between the document and the class, and;
- a vertical search system factoring in image score to search for items, such as products or news stories.
Now the question is how can you make sure that your images benefit you in terms of SEO. Here are some tips.
- Use images that are relevant to your website.
- Make sure you ALWAYS use alt tags to help spiders know what the image is about. Remember to use keywords!
- Pay attention to the size of the image. Not the file size but the actual height and width of the image and the actual percentage of the page it occupies. The bigger images would be perceived to be of greater import/relevance to the page’s content.
- Choose good quality images. Quality in terms of blurriness, contrast, etc.
- Pay attention to the placement of the image. There is a difference if you put it on the top, middle, bottom of the page as well as whether you put it on the left, center, or right side of the page. Another thing you should remember about placement is that the surrounding text to the image is also factored in so place it near relevant text.
- Images that contain key content should be used repeatedly throughout the site though of course placed in different pages.
- Don’t worry about the borders. Unless your borders are really huge, which won’t make sense, don’t worry about it because too small images would simply be filtered out and not factored into determining your page rank.