Google ‘Design & Content Writing Guidelines’: Part 10

In this post, we will be looking at Guideline #10 from ‘Google’s Design and Content Guidelines.’

Google Design and Content Guideline #10: “Review our image guidelines for best practices on publishing images.”

Don’t embed text inside images

Search engines can’t read text inside of images!  If you want the bot to find your text, keep it in HTML.

Tell us as much as you can about the image

-Use detailed, informative filenames that can give Google clues about the image.

-Create great alt text.

-Make sure that anchor text (the text other websites use to link to your page) is descriptive and informative.  “Pictures of our Family Christmas 2009” would be good anchor text for photos about that.

Provide good context for your image

Make sure that you use pictures that are relevant to the text around it.  If you’re talking about snowboarding, a picture of food is not a good idea.

Think about the best ways to protect your images

Google recommends allowing other people to use your images and requiring attribution, as limiting use of images reduces your audience and discoverability on search engines.  Try making your image available under a license such as Creative Commons or providing an HTML snippet with your image and credit.  You can also use a watermark or copyright.

If you don’t want your image to be found on a search engine, use a robots.txt file to block access to that image.

Create a great user experience

Follow these tips to create a great user experience with your images:

–         Host good-quality photos

–         Create a standalone landing page for each image

–         Put your photos high up on the page, where they can be immediately seen

–         Structure directories so that all similar photos are saved together

–         Specify the height and width of each image

This brings us to the end of our blog series on Google’s Design and Content Guidelines.  Hopefully you found it informative and have learned a few things about improving the SEO performance of your website.

Stay tuned for our new series: “Tips to Blogging Bliss.”

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