Image Rank Factors

by Gary on May 17, 2008 · 4 comments

in On Page SEO,SEO,SEO Basics

While most are conscious about ranking well in SERPs many overlook the need to optimise for image search. Image search should NOT be overlooked since it can bring in considerable amount of traffic. As an example, in my personal blog it’s really funny how the search term “Mila Jovovich” gives me the most search traffic and how a vast majority of that traffic comes from image search. Note too that I only posted about Mila Jovovich a couple of times. Goes to show that you just don’t know what will really bring you lots of traffic.

To make sure you don’t miss out on the traffic image search can bring (if you post images on your blog!) here are the factors you should take note of:

  1. text surrounding the image – Note that the distance of the text from the image also counts so it makes sense to place the image as near as possible to the related text.
  2. text of pages linking to the picture
  3. the number of websites containing the same or similar image – This helps determine relevancy of image to the search term
  4. size of image – Usually the image with higher resolution ranks better. Note though that users can filter search results by file size. The reasoning behind this may be more for the viewing pleasure since a higher resolution image looks better.
  5. Remember though that loading your page with lots of high resolution images may bog down your site causing it to have a longer loading time. Make sure you do not sacrifice usability and accessibility!
  6. link relationships between images – Images that are linked together and have related associated text will help determine relevancy
  7. frequency of image’s appearance in website – This pertains to logos and other recurring images. It helps determine importance and relevance of image to the website topic.
  8. face and name detection – The more faces on an image the higher it is usually ranked. On the other hand if a specific name is queried then a single face with the person searched for will rank better.

Oh, and in case you’re interested “Winnie the Pooh” comes in second to my best “traffic bringer”. I only posted about Winnine the Pooh a couple of times too!

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Kelli Myers June 3, 2008 at 9:16 am

Also the images should have an “alt” tag, since the search engines cannot read images they read the text within the alt tags and this also helps in image optimization.

Malvinder Singh July 17, 2008 at 4:40 am

I was thinking of the same, as i do post a image in relation to the post i do write on my blog, that means that post = number of images on my blog.,

Need the trick to have images on the blog in google search

Aleksandar Ratkovic January 29, 2009 at 2:20 pm

I noticed that text near the image is more important than alt tag for image SERP.

michaelj72 July 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm

images on many of the pages on my site do very well in the niche that i’m in. it’s rather amazing and i’ve played around recently with the alt text/tag in those images to see how it affects their ranking in Image search. also quite important is how the image is initially named and i’ve noted that’s even more critical to ranking than the text surrounding the image or even often the alt tag/text