Google held its very first live chat last Friday which was extremely helpful and interesting. The Google Webmaster Help Team, who hosted the event, covered various aspects of search. But what I found to be the most intriguing was the presentation on image search optimization. More specifically was the fact that Google image search can extract signals such as color, texture, spatial layout, and over all quality of an image when indexing. Essentially they are “looking” at the image. This amongst other factors should be taken into account when working on your image search optimization efforts.
The live chat also gave a few other words of advice for image search optimization. Make sure that the images on your website have alt tags with relevant keywords and descriptive file names. Also, the text surrounding the image is being analyzed to determine image content. So, make sure that the header and paragraph text around the image is keyword targeted and relevant. And one last piece of advice for image search optimization is to make sure that when ever possible the image is hosted on your own site.
With images showing up more and more in regular search results it will be crucial to make image search optimization an important part of your SEO efforts.