When you include an image on a web page, there are a couple of things that you are doing. One of those is to make the page more visually appealing (depending upon the image you are using).
The old cliche that "an image is worth a thousand words" can be true if the image you decide to include actually adds to the page that you've created, and is meaningful. When I talk about images, I often refer to them as "meaningful" images and "non-meaningful" images. When you use little blue arrows on a page as bullet points for list items, chances are that those are non-meaningful images. When the images that you use are purely for decoration, again they don't add much meaning. Both of those can help create emotions or make a viewer feel a certain way about a page, but they don't necessarily help that visitor understand what the content of the page is.
When you have a page about Lions, and you show a picture of a football player dressed in a Detroit Lions uniform, your picture tells us that you're talking about members of the football team. If your picture shows a lion trekking about on four legs, and hunting a meal, the page is about a completely different kind of lion.
Usually a search engine will look at what they refer to as "meta data" to try to understand what the content of a picture might be, which isn't what we often refer to as meta data when talking about web pages. This picture based meta data can include things like the file or picture name for the image, the directory that the picture might be in on a website, alt text associated with the image, a caption that might be used with the image, and the text upon a page where the image exists on the Web.
There may be other things about an image that a search engine might look at when ranking an image in an image search. I wrote about some of them in this post:
How Do Images Get Ranked in Image Search?
Likewise, an image on a page might help that page rank better for some particular query as well. If you're creating a page about the Detroit Lions for instance, having a picture of the Stadium they play in, a Lions football helmet, a Lions player, with appropriate file names, captions, and alt text can help that page rank better in search results for the query "Detroit Lions".
A Microsoft patent from a few years ago detailed many of the kinds of things they might look for when using images to help pages rank for certain things, and I wrote about those in:
How Search Engines May Use Images to Rank Web Pages
Some of those factors or signals may surprise you. It's also possible that Google looks at other signal and may ignore some of the ones that Microsoft might look at. I like that we have both, to compare and contrast, though.
There may be a time in the future where Google may not need to look at the meta data I mention, and instead can understand exactly what a picture contains, like in this deep learning experiment that Google conducted, where their computers learned to recognize cats:
Google computer works out how to spot cats
Yesterday in a Google Hangout, we were discussing Google's Layout algorithm, and how the search engine might segment parts of pages, and identify which parts were advertisements, and I suggested that they might do that by looking at the features that different segments of pages might contain. Here's a post about a Microsoft patent I wrote about where they pointed out a way to do that:
How a Search Engine Might be able to Tell Whether an Image is an Advertisement
Regardless, adding images to the pages that you create, real meaningful images that are engaging to viewers that can help pages rank better for the topics and words that you want them to rank for adds additional signals to search engines on what a page is about. Choose your images carefully, and the names for those image files, the alt text you use, and captions as well, and you're helping to reinforce in a positive way the other signals that your pages are sending to potential viewers.
"Marketing has become extremely data-driven. I don't love it, but we need to go with it. That means finding more and better ways to track attribution across channels. This slide deck explains some basic techniques - Pearson Correlation and holdout testing - that you can use to connect channel performance to business KPIs."
Great round up on why Icon Fonts are pretty great from
Back in the old days, before internets and such, marketers still measured attribution. They used techniques that still work. Attend this webinar to learn how to:
Use 'holdout testing' to do the same thing
Use k-fold cross-validation to wow your bosses and clients
Use typical tools like Excel to help you get started
Tomorrow, January 30, 2014
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
Even for big agencies working with massive companies, it seems as if the irrelevant metrics are the ones that people care about most - view counts, cost per impression and paid vs organic split of views.
I don't believe this is good enough, so, today I published a post outlining what I believe to be a better way to assess and measure the success of YouTube campaigns. It's quite long, but hopefully you find it useful!
Learn why you shouldn't throw out guest posting completely, despite what you're hearing in this great post from 's own
- Portent, Inc.SEO Strategist, 2012 - present
- Sesame CommunicationsSEO Specialist, 2009 - 2012
- Cascadia Region Earthquake WorkgroupWeb Consultant, 2007 - 2010
- BuddyTVFreelance Staff Columnist, 2007 - 2008
- University of KansasEnglish, 1997 - 2003
- Bellevue CollegeTechnical Writing and Communication, 2008 - 2008
Internet Marketing Lessons Learned from Walking the AWP Book Fair
A writer at a book fair is a lot like a teenaged girl loose on the Internet with her mom’s credit card. The wonder! The excitement! The expe
What’s Ahead for Social? Believe in Yourself(ie) for 2014
No matter where you looked in 2013, there was always someone within a few feet of you with his or her arm outstretched, snapping a photo or
Horizon App Solves the Dumbest Thing About Smartphone Video | Wired Desi...
A new app captures proper horizontal video no matter how you're holding your phone.
As Good as It Gets: What dating can teach us about email marketing.
The greatest thing about email marketing is how direct the communication is. Email is the closest you can get to dating your customers. Cree
Enterprise Search: Where You Get to Be Larry Page...No, Really! - SEMrus...
Is enterprise search the future of SEO?
How Does Google Choose a Profile Photo? It's the Algo Dummie!
There has been some conversation and consternation (free membership required) of late when Google seemingly arbitrarily replaces a business
Website Design Wars: SEO Agencies vs. Web Design Agencies - Worldwide Tr...
Web Design Agencies are great at making beautiful websites, but can they do SEO too? We analyzed award-winning website designs throughout th
How to Increase eCommerce SEO by Adding Content to Category Pages
eCommerce sites can easily turn their category pages into high-traffic landing pages by adding unique, useful content. Here's how to do it r
Parallax scrolling and SEO are 100% compatible – clearing up the misconc...
This post clears up the misconception that parallax scrolling websites are not SEO compatible.
Where Do You See Local Search in 2014? 26 Experts Weigh In
26 Experts From All Around The World Provide Predictions Of How Local SEO Will Change In 2014