Image doping

I had an enjoyable lunch today with fellow blogger Henrik Torstensson. He brought up a subject that we both had experienced, the fact that both our blogs had gotten a significant amount of traffic from Google Images. We concluded that the amount of traffic signalled that there is an opportunity in search engine optimization of the images of your webpage, call it “image doping” of your website if you will. That is, if the type of traffic it generates is desirable to you, and not just eat up your bandwidth.

Looking around the net I couldn’t find a whole lot of info about image optimization, but some tips for getting a higher rank on Google Images are:

> Use the alt attribute
> Name the image with the desired keywords: “nissan-maxima.gif” if you are promoting a Nissan Maxima car.
> “putting each image in a specifically optimized html page” [not sure what that means, to be honest]
> using a picture gallery and a thumbnails systems
> consider the size of your image, bigger seems to get higher rankings
> when naming image files, don’t use underscore, use “-” instead of “_”

To me, this seems to be unexplored territory and savvy webmasters and bloggers could use this opportunity to increase traffic. Further reading here, here, here and here.