How does Google treat image-based content for ranking?

11 replies
  • SEO
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When a site has entirely image-based content, how does Google treat it? For example, if I'm taking all of the quote images that the kids put up on tumblr these days and I arrange them as one per post per day (and assuming I have used proper alt and title tags), will Google rank it as though the post itself contained that text?

It might make sense to have the quote as the post title. However, if I were to put two or three of them into a single post, the post title would be much too long and it likely wouldn't make sense. Does the image metadata rank well enough on it's own in that case?

Also, for something like a quote image, how would you identify what goes into alt and what goes into title? I'm thinking the text of the image should go into title, and something more along the lines of a tag for subject matter into alt.

#content #google #imagebased #images #ranking #treat
  • Profile picture of the author alvinchua91
    Yes, Google can read alt tags which is why you should put them into your website if you use images. However, it is still important to set proper and relevant title tags, meta keywords and meta description. This is important not only for SEO purposes but for helping people identify your site correctly and clicking on your site as they browse through the SERPs.

    Do not go crazy and put several random phrases as the title. It's best if the images are relevant to each other and have your post title as something general that describes them all.

    Have your images' alt tags related to what the image is about, do not go too far off from the actual image content.
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  • Profile picture of the author st0nec0ld
    For an image-based site title, alt tags and descriptions are important since search engines can't read images. Search engines use it when pulling information that will be displayed on SERP.

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  • Profile picture of the author BlackWoods
    Alt tags are important for images if you want Google to crawl them and understand what are them.
    Additionally, try to write some description or maybe tags for each posts.
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  • Profile picture of the author johnniewalk
    Off Course Search engine will able to index Your site but you should provide proper information related to that image..
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  • Profile picture of the author Slade556
    Well, since you have no content consisting of text, then definitely use alt tags and keywords in each post title. Someone suggested you write a description, that's a good idea. Writing a phrase or two related to the image should help you out even more.
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  • Profile picture of the author princy91
    Alt tags of the images are readable to the search engine spiders, hence give appropriate alt tags to all your images and also it is important for a webpage to have a appropriate meta title and description tags as these are the ways by which people can judge the content of your site.
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  • Profile picture of the author colorexpert4
    Google will rank them if you use alt tag of your images perfectly ans also if you use those keywords to your main content.
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  • Profile picture of the author MehreenZafar
    Google Would Love SEO Optimized Images and Posts, Assign Alt Txt to every image as Search engine bots can't read Images but Text instead.. 2ndly Do add meta description and title tags to your posts, this way you can derive Google search as well as Image search traffic.
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  • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
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    • Profile picture of the author paulgl
      Since anyone can put anything and everything in an alt tag, why
      would google rely on that?

      You people are seriously behind the times if you have no clue
      as to how google recognizes, determines, pontificates, understands,
      classifies images for ranking in 2015.

      Here's just a tip from my perusings on the web yesterday as jokes
      were all over about the idiotic race stupidity from starbucks.

      People post pictures of misspellings on starbucks cups on pages,
      blogs, etc. that deal with that. So google has a good sense that
      the images there will be most likely ones of stupid starbuck's
      employees misspellings.

      That, my friends, is perhaps the biggest piece of the first part of

      Next would be the eventual filtering of images that are
      somehow tracked as false positives.

      I have noticed that when I do an image search, the majority of results I
      get are from image places that already classify these images. Google seems
      to place a good deal of trust there.

      So, if you have a blog on boats, and post images, chances are, eventually
      google will trust your site to have pictures of boats.

      Forget keyword stuffing. It's not what the alt tag was invented for.

      And we also need to know that google's artificial intelligence is growing:
      Research Blog: Building a deeper understanding of images

      But yeah, I know. It's not as sexy as keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing seems
      sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much more beneficial.


      If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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      • Profile picture of the author TJ Smiley
        Paul, my read of the thread is not a recommendation for keyword stuffing, but for necessarily including relevant descriptions so that Google does have language with which to assist in classifying the image. Your point that anyone can stuff keywords into image metadata, but the same holds true for a website. People can put whatever they want there. Google then comes up with its methodology for determining who has reliable information and who is keyword stuffing.

        Having read this article from Cognitive SEO, my takeaway is that my images with text may well rank because of the text contained within the image. I still want to assist Google in understanding the image by applying whatever helpful and relevant information I can in the metadata.

        Assuming a site with minimal written content, would you recommend something other than including appropriate information in the metadata in order to be considered and ranked?
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        • Profile picture of the author paulgl
          If you have image content...
          and people read it....
          and people surf to it and get what they want....
          and you continue to post images....
          and the above keeps repeating...

          It has nothing to do with alt tags, titles, etc.

          Sure, they are important. But important in their context,
          not outside.

          People try and shmooze google all the time. You can title a page
          whatever you want. You can alt tag until you are blue in the face.
          But image "content" will eventually be ranked as to how others are
          treating your site.

          Hence, fail blog, Icanhazcheezburger, etc. rank for those kinds of pictures.

          People still think google ranks youtube videos by the stuff that a user can

          The bottom line is this.

          Google will not rank your images for your chosen title, alt, etc., just
          because you say that's what they are.

          If I choose to search for dog images, I guarantee you I aint getting some
          joe blow site with dog images just because joe blow has alt tagged and
          titled to death. I'm going to get images from a site, probably on animals,
          that is know by them to have dog images.

          Notice I am NOT saying not to use them, but the way people are talking,
          it's some magic potion. It's not. Not in 2015.

          I can say with 100% certainty that google knows that getty will indeed have
          images under the directories that getty names. They did not get that way
          because of alt tag BS. Google trusts getty's alt tags. They may or may not
          trust yours. Give them a reason.


          If you were disappointed in your results today, lower your standards tomorrow.

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