It would be interesting to know how much Google’s various departments talk to each other and how much common territory they share. If they do share some common territory when it comes to search then a post on Google Webmaster Central blog may be worth paying attention to.
The post (video actually) relates to news search. There are, however, several areas that may relate to SEO. One in particular deals with images and to optimize them. The video gave five clear pointers on how to optimize images to help a news story rank. They make a lot of sense, not just for news stories, but for all web sites.
If you follow these tips I can’t see how they will harm your SEO strategies at all, so if they help news stories rank higher, they may also help your web pages rank higher. Here are the five tips from the video:
- Large sizes with good aspect ratios
- Descriptive captions and alt text
- Near title
- Inline, non-clickable
- Prefer JPEG
We already promote some of these, particularly the second point, using descriptive captions and alt text. It is interesting that Google has a preference for JPEG files and that the image should be large. The aspect ratios are understandable. I wouldn’t be throwing bigger images on my pages just to rank, the user should still be considered first.
Using the image close to the title. It is understandable particularly if you use good alt tags with keywords related to the title. Having your keywords inline (text wrap) is also understandable since the text should compliment the image.
The video is worth watching, there are other key points that are worth considering such as optimizing videos. It’s all about our content development and how we can improve our pages to rank well in the search results.