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Old 10th September 2008, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default SEO On Image Pages. What To Do?


I got a website's customer with few pages but each page is just one image that contains everything (image composition and text).

I know that google does not read the image to extract the text but it will read its Name and Alt Tag to index the image on Google Images, which is fine but not enough because people are not looking for images in this case.

The pages are static and the customer is not willing to add text due to the artistic work on the Image Page.

Can these kind of pages get optimized and positioned to First Page with just Title, Description, Image Name and Alt Name, Links and Traffic?

Thank you,

Jose Lozano

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Old 11th September 2008, 07:49 AM   #2
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Default Reading Images

It was my understanding (from an article I read but unfortuately did not save) that Google now has a technique for reading images -- do others know more about this?

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Old 11th September 2008, 03:02 PM   #3
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Google has recently started indexing Flash, at least in some instances. AFAIK, they cannot extract text that's displayed within a graphic such as a JPEG or GIF. And I wouldn't count on that happening any time soon, FWIW.

They will at least in some cases use the image ALT attribute as a substitute for text. I know they do this when the image is a link (i.e. part of a graphical menu, for instance). Sometimes they do this when the image is not a link, sometimes they don't. I'm honestly not sure which way they're going with that at this precise moment. So it's possible -- likely even -- the image ALT text would be indexed and counted, but I wouldn't necessarily depend 100% on the ALT text of non-link images helping out in every instance.

As to getting a first page ranking, I'm assuming you don't want to slide over into black hat techniques. Staying on the "white hat" side, it can be done, but it would depend a LOT on the phrase you're targeting for that page.

I think anything even moderately competitive would probably require a massive number of links (or at least a good handful of exceptionally powerful links) to make up for the near total lack of on-page text. Much beyond that in competitiveness, and you're looking at a really tough slog. For highly competitive phrases, I'd say you might as well forget it without any significant text on the page.

IMO, the client needs to understand they're basically asking you to work with one hand tied behind your back and adjust their expectations accordingly.


Diane Aull - NineYards.com: Helping Businesses Do Business Online
Whether you think you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.
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Old 11th September 2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Agree totally with Torka. This may be a customer that is not worth keeping because you are being set up for failure.

It is always best (for long-term ranking) to keep the original intent of a tag in mind and not count on getting more out of them then that. According to the W3C recommendations, the "alt" attribute specifies an alternate text for user agents that cannot display images, forms or applets. It is not a replacement for informational text.

Also, Alt tags are often abused via keyword stuffing (similar to meta tags) so you have to wonder, even if Google does put any weight on them presently (outside of image search), how long will that continue?

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Old 12th September 2008, 01:32 AM   #5

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Those 2 posts above are correct(so I will not repeat all the things about the ALT attribute). I think you could rank well only if it's a very very very low competitive segment to make it just with the title. Another thing is that the "keywords" and "description" in metatag are useless because of the lack of text. Adding them I don't think could do you any good : there is a possibility to be consider spam.

I had a similar contract once where the client didn't care about google or other search engine and I didn't accepted it because in my experience sooner or later the client will come to you and ask : "how come I can't find my web site on Google ? "

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