Just because Google hates your site doesn't mean it hates your images

I have a number of small websites which bring in a little bit of revenue each month. Some of these sites do ok, some do rather nicely, some aren't earning the $8.95 per year to pay for their domain registration. Naturally, I test out my naughty SEO strategies on these domains instead of client's websites, or my own main websites.

Sometimes, you try out a certain strategy and Google picks the site as spam straight away, which I actually really like to see. It's good to know that Google's algo actually works in removing rubbish from the web.

One of these sites is a PR5, but has had poor Google traffic for months, due to it's content being mostly duplicate article content. In all honesty, I praise Google for giving this site poor rankings, because it doesn't deserve them. However, I took the time to optimise the images properly, and the site gets more traffic from Google images than from Google web.

It's not that there is a penalty against the site as such, but there is certainly no Google love there. But it seems that this Google love is applied differently to images and web search.

This is hardly conclusive, but here's a hypothesis...

Google web search and Google image search may be quite separate systems. If your website is getting no Google love, spend some time adding more images to the site and see if you get a second chance.

Optimising your images

  • Google seems to prefer images of a reasonable resolution, and that makes sense because so do people. If you have to use small thumbnails on your page, make it link to a bigger image of 800x600 or bigger.
  • Name images in the format "/images/my-image.jpg"
  • Do not rename or move an image unless you really have to. The Google image bot is very slow at indexing images, so by renaming an image it may disappear out of Google for 6+ months.
  • No upper case filenames (nothing to do with SEO, but for your peace of mind when you move that Windows site to Linux)
  • NO SPACES in filenames
  • Use rewriting where images are dynamic
  • Name your image to match the phrase you want to be found for, where appropriate
  • Use relevant alt attributes on the images that include the phrase you want to target. Try to include the phrase in the alt attribute and filename
  • Use the search phrase in text in close proximity to the image. A caption below the image is perfect.


Image SEO has saved this particular site from the doldrums of "no Google traffic". I'm using the same istockphoto images as everyone else, but I just did a better job of optimizing them.
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Tags: Googleimagesimage seoGoogle images "image seo"