Tag Archives: seo for images

Optimising Bees for Google Image Search using CSS to Show Part of the Image

Google has changed the way image search results are presented. This is having a major impact on traffic driven to sites from image search results.

With Google trying to keep visitors away from your site, what can be done ?

This post shows one way to make the most of the space Google now gives an image.

The idea is to modify the images on your site so that:

  • enlarge the image to include a call to action in the border
  • then use CSS to show only part of the image on the site

When Google crawls the image, it will take the entire image including the border and calls to action within.

This will enable both brand impressions and marketing messages to be shown to people using Google image search, so even if you can’t get the visit, you can at least claim some mind share.

[An alternative, is simply to add a ‘watermark’ to all of your images, however that doesn’t look so good on your site.]

The following example using an out of focus bee settling on a lavender plant, shows how to use CSS to control the visible area of the photo.

The CSS used for the following image ensures that only part of the image is visible on page:

img.wp-image-363 {
 position:absolute !important;
 clip:rect(0px,480px,390px,0px);
 }

The html code for the image itself:

<img class="size-full wp-image-363" title="Bees on lavender" 
src="http://www.seoeditors.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/bees-on-lavender-google-image-resize-css.png" alt="" >
Bees on lavender - an extract of the whole image
Using CSS to clip images
Click on the image above to see the full size photo of the bees on the lavender, including the additional border.

The border is transparent to maximize the appearance of the CTA within Google image results.

If you try searching in Google for this image, you should see the image complete with calls to action.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&tbo=d&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=bees+on+lavender+css+resize

Give it a go and let me know what you think about this technique.
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SEO colour experiment

Having spent a long time as a C++ image processing software engineer and SEO, I’ve always thought I had a good handle on what works best for image search. A background in the field provides insights into the possibilities for image classifiers, such as skeletonization, histograms and more complex image transformations.

So I thought I’d share an experiment, to put some theories to the test. Starting with an experiment with colour.

As with any test in SEO, there can be no conclusion as the rules change (Google keeps updating algorithms), and many SEO factors will interfere as they cannot be isolated adequately for statistical rigour. The following test is subject to competition from images already indexed and the inter-connectivity of the web through time. So this test is pseudo-scientific. That said, I hope it still proves to be interesting…

The SEO colour experiment involves a series of coloured images.

Pink SEO experiment images

pink seo colour experiment
pink seo colour experiment
pink seo colour experiment
pink seo colour experiment

The current results for ‘pink seo colour experiment’ are:

current pink seo colour experiment
current pink seo colour experiment

 

Green SEO experiment images

There are two green SEO experiment images

Green SEO experiment images
Green SEO experiment images
Green SEO experiment images
Green SEO experiment images

The current results for ‘green seo colour experiment’ searches are:

current green seo colour experiment
current green seo colour experiment

 

Yellow SEO experiment images

Yellow SEO experiment images
Yellow SEO experiment images
Yellow SEO experiment images
Yellow SEO experiment images

The current results for ‘yellow seo colour experiment’ searches are:

current yellow seo colour experiment
current yellow seo colour experiment

Purple SEO experiment images

Purple SEO experiment images
Purple SEO experiment images
Purple SEO experiment images
Purple SEO experiment images

The current results for ‘purple seo colour experiment’ searches are:

purple seo colour experiment
purple seo colour experiment

White SEO experiment images

White SEO experiment images
White SEO experiment images
White SEO experiment images
White SEO experiment images

The current results for ‘white seo colour experiment’ searches are:

current white seo colour experiment
current white seo colour experiment

Gray SEO experiment images

Gray SEO experiment images
Gray SEO experiment images
Gray SEO experiment images
Gray SEO experiment images

The current results for ‘gray seo colour experiment’ searches are:

gray seo colour experiment
gray seo colour experiment

 

So, the scene is set. A selection of big block colour images, with a ‘gray’ version of each image colour so we can see whether the filename and other descriptors can influence the decision for the classifier, or whether the information in the image histogram overrides this deliberate misdirection.

The number of indexed images is in the order of billions, so the capacity for complex image processing may be reduced. In other words, image classifiers may still be relatively simple to avoid huge processing overheads, hitting only the filter options offered in image search.

I’ll revisit this post when search results change.

A work in progress !