Are you asking yourself what does this mean?  You’re not alone, especially if you are a do it yourself web site builder or you use a “Free” website.  I believe educating my clients is key to my working with them.

I know, many of you reading this post are not clients and that’s okay.  You can benefit from this knowledge and perhaps next time you hire someone to build your website or you decide to do it yourself, you will be “forearmed” as they saying goes.

Google has specific image publishing guidelines. Following Google’s best practices as well as their usual Webmaster Guidelines will increase the likelihood that your images will be returned in search results.

Don’t embed important text inside images

Avoid embedding important text in images for elements like page headings and menu items because not all users can access them.

Tell as much as you can about the image

Give your images detailed, informative filenames

Dalmatian Businessman looking at camera
Dalmatian Businessman looking at camera

The filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a

good description of the subject matter of the image. For example, my-new-Dalmatian-puppy.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG or DSC16433PG.

Create great alt text

The alt attribute is used to describe the contents of an image file. It’s important for several reasons:

  • It provides Google with useful information about the subject matter of the image. We use this information to help determine the best image to return for a user’s query.
  • Many people-for example, users with visual impairments, or people using screen readers or who have low-bandwidth connections (yes, some people are still using dial-up) —may not be able to see images on web pages. Descriptive alt text provides these users with important information.  Have you gone to a website and noticed that their images aren’t populating?  It’s probably because they didn’t follow the “Best” practice example below.

Not good:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt=""/>

Better:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy"/>

Best:

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="Dalmatian puppy playing fetch"> 

Avoid

<img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy dog baby 
dog pup pups puppies doggies pups litter puppies dog retriever 
 labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier 
puppies dog food cheap dogfood puppy food"/>

The reason to avoid the above is because Google then thinks it's "keyword stuffing" 
and may not show your image at all or worse yet, perceive your site to be "spam" and remove it from being found in search engines.

I hope this helps - as always, if you have any questions, give me a call or send me an email.