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Effective way to improve rankings via alt image text

Discussion in 'White Hat SEO' started by kgrittner, May 26, 2013.

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  1. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    I found this out by accident when i was copying and pasting parts of my site to different pages.

    Each page had 5 images, being lazy in the beginning i had left one of the images alt text as lets say "Bass Fishing"
    The site had about 40 pages. I was very surprised to find that my rankings for "Bass Fishing" were very high
    considering the site was new, about 4 months and i had only done mild Off page seo.

    So the moral of the story is if you have a keyword that is really hard to get it may help to insert an image onto
    other pages with this alt text as i believe that Google will give that site as a whole more relevance to that keyword.

    This could also be a variation of Siloing a site. A theory im experimenting with.
    Try it out, go through some of your pages and add in an image (doesn't have to be huge, but not tiny either)
    and see what happens.

    Please post anything you've learned... Thanks!
     
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  2. Conor

    Conor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    You bring up a good point. Some of my keywords, though nowhere to be found in Google web results, actually rank pretty high in Google Images.

    Moral of the story: never disregard Google image search. It can be an easy source of traffic despite the recent changes Google made to it.
     
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  3. edyang

    edyang Junior Member

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    Interesting, so you're saying that the image ALT attribute alone was enough to increasing rankings in lieu of touching anything else? This would definitely be worth testing.
     
  4. f1ndm3h

    f1ndm3h Newbie

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    I am not sure though, how much repeating of that alt text could be done. Google could consider it keyword stuffing and bad rank you maybe.
     
  5. rubysmith

    rubysmith BANNED BANNED

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    Images can be an important part of your text and the primary purpose of the alt text is to provide alternative, textual content when an image cannot be rendered. So, if ever you do have an image on the page, make it a habit to include an alt text to the image.
     
  6. FireBrandSaint

    FireBrandSaint Junior Member Premium Member

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    I was experimenting with this at my last startup, we did it so anytime we uploaded an image it would dynamically populate the alt text.
     
  7. tradesteady

    tradesteady Registered Member

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    Yes, I'm also found some sites don't do link building and just promote their site with photos and their keywords often get very good ranks on google esp. long-tail words...
     
  8. Techxan

    Techxan Elite Member

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    I am not sure about doing this. Google has been very clear with their over optimization algo change that this was a bad idea. The alt tag is supposed to tell what the image is about, not be keyword rich unless it applies to the image.

    I do not know if this works, but I do know Google has said they will start penalizing for this type of over optimization, along with excessive keyword stuffing of bold, underline and emphasis tags.

    I wouldn't do it on anything I wanted to keep, but if it does work I would use it on a fireship site.
     
  9. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    That's a good point

    Considering that google cant look at an image it would have to assume that the image on all the pages is about that kw.
    Assuming you're using different images, with different names. Repeating Content BAD!

    Over optimization of a page is more based upon how many times that kw appears on one Page. What I'm talking about
    Is a Site wide optimization. Which I believe is perfectly fine. It's pretty much like if you sell Bass Fishing and you made your logo
    which appears on every page alt= Bass Fishing Logo, I would only assume google would go hmmm... Guess their about bass fishing.

    I've done this with my site and found that it also really helps for Google Local... Which has been something of a mystery to me.
    By changing the logo img alt text i found that it made a huge impact on Google Local. As well has on my Gallery Page.

    Of course if you had 3 imgs on all your pages with the same KW then i could see it as over optimization.

    I think Google does this because it takes time to do. Think of something that takes a lot of effort and Google rewards it.
    As this is something that must be done by hand, and someone would only do it on a worth wild site. Therefore I believe at present
    that google would have to acknowledge it has having value. Thus the ranking increase.
     
  10. moneyandhotgayguys

    moneyandhotgayguys Registered Member

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    this only works with certain industries i think, i have a alt keyword rich site and it gets no traffic from image searches
     
  11. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    Nothing works 100% of the time lol.
    I'm sure that it depends on a lot of different factors.

    Competitiveness,
    Folder structure,
    naming structure

    I guess it's not just in the alt text for me it really came about when folder structure, image naming, and alt text came in together
     
  12. Simas9

    Simas9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Google image traffic is hard to convert. Nearly impossible in some niches.
     
  13. mason.aaron

    mason.aaron BANNED BANNED

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    Alt image is part of onsite of optimazation
     
  14. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    Yes it is. Although i found that having one image with my main target keyword on every page brought rankings up dramatically. Something that most people don't do. Kinda like changing the Alt and Name of your logo to one of your KW
     
  15. Glassy

    Glassy Junior Member

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    Yes, I always use my main keyword name in the alt and image title in my first image for that page and some variations for the other images.
     
  16. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    Ya it surprises me how many people don't do that. Makes a big difference!
     
  17. hedgy73

    hedgy73 Regular Member Premium Member

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    Thanks OP good post! I learned years ago that the image alt tag serves 2 purposes. Firstly its to give a description of the image if it cannot be displayed or if user has images turned off and another reason is so that blind people using vocal software can hear what the image is because their software will tell them through speech. From what I understand its a + in Googles eyes because its helping with overall visitor experience especially the sight impaired. Giving your images an alternative text description is good if you combine your keywords in a descriptive sentence not just basic keyword loading like 'bass fishing' for every image, mix the descriptions up but include keyword(s) and it will have a positive effect.
     
  18. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    Thanks for commenting. I agree that it can help the user experience.

    I'm thinking about creating a study that would directly document the effectiveness of this.
    I would like to see to what extent does the repatition of certain kw across the site retain value before it platos.

    I've seen a Matt Cutts Video about site wide links where he says that after some point google will plato the value of the links kinda like how it platos interest in kw density.

    My latest way of thinking is trying to imagine the site as though it were one big article. So if you took every page and repeated everything including the header side bar etc..
    In this way I might be able to get a better grip on how google sees the site as a whole. Just a thought.

    Although I guess at some point one can over do on-page seo and that time could be better spent on off page seo.

    If anyone has any comments let me know
     
  19. hedgy73

    hedgy73 Regular Member Premium Member

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    It would be interesting if you did a case study and let us know your findings. I like to try different things as well to see whats working and whats not. I have very basic websites with no backlinks ranking well because of the old school methods including alt tag descriptions. I always use them because I think they are important. Some basic sites I have that are ranking well haven't been changed for months, even years in some cases. Perhaps Google likes stability, perhaps changing a site too often is a bad thing not good. Google does say it likes regular updated content but I have proof this is not the case.
     
  20. kgrittner

    kgrittner Junior Member

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    Ya regarding the updated content i believe what the mean is new posts or pages added. The reason for this I believe is (Lets think like Google for a sec),
    What if someone is ranking for children toys in the number 1 spot and then someone for whatever reason added porn or nasty things to the page. That would not be good for Google. So i believe that when the bot finds a change it will then re-submit that page to a more advanced processing algo which takes time, and until that happens you will be de-ranked.

    Another reason could also be that they don't want people spamming out sites with junk and if one of them ranks going back and re-doing the site.
    This is most likely why they do this as this encourages you to create the best possible site the first time.

    These are the only reasons i can think of that would make sense from google's perspective.