?Google Friendly? Solutions to Graphic-Intense Sites

We all know that the search engines can't "see" or "read" the graphics on our pages. We also know that we need to provide text on a page, so the spiders will have something to crawl and index.

After all, we have to prove to the search engines without a shadow of a doubt that our pages are about what we say or claim they're about if we want to achieve top rankings. That's why I believe so strongly in focusing each page on one single keyword phrase only. As soon as a spider hits a page, I want the spider to know exactly what that page is about.

But, many sites out there are graphic intense, often by virtue of their very nature. The sites may sell prints, wallpaper, pictures, graphics, or posters. Or, the sites may sell hats, for example, so that each page is full of pictures of a particular type of hat.

Many Web site owners don't want to add text to those pages, because they want to highlight exactly what they're selling. They've created the site with their audience in mind, which is as it should be. After all, when visitors stop by a wallpaper site, they want to see loads of pictures of the different wallpaper samples. They don't want to read about them!

So, being careful to adhere to Google's Guidelines that prohibit hiding text, what options do we have with our graphic-intense site?

Let's look at some possible solutions.

1. Can you put visible text above or below the graphics on the page? If so, this is your best solution, because you're giving the engines some content to crawl.

Simply add a paragraph of content above the graphics, and then a paragraph or two of content below the graphics. Make sure the content focuses on your keyword phrase and that it describes the page accurately.

If you don't want to add a full paragraph of content above the graphics, try adding a heading tag containing your keyword phrase. Then, add content beneath the graphics.

The bottom line is: you want to start the page with text if at all possible, not graphics.

2. Be creative! Can you add descriptive text about each graphic under or beside the graphic? Can you add little "Tips" or "More Info" boxes on the page that contain valuable information for your users and keyword-containing text for the engines? Can you include testimonials from happy customers that will add valuable keyword-containing content to your page?

3. Leave your existing graphic-intense pages the way they are, and create some new text-based interior pages that are full of valuable content related to your graphics. Pull in traffic through those pages, and provide text links to your pages full of graphics. Be sure to use your important keyword phrase in the link text that links to the pages of graphics.

Keep in mind that these new pages are interior pages, which means that they should provide a link to other pages on your site, and your site should provide a link back to those pages. If you've done your homework right, these new pages are providing value to your users, therefore providing value to the search engines, so there's no reason why you wouldn't want to link to these new interior pages.

Can you use redirects from the text-based pages to the pages of graphics? I highly recommend not doing so. The engines have never been fond of redirects for one thing. But, even if your redirects aren't "sneaky" (as Google says in their Guidelines), if you don't use text links with the keyword phrase in the link text, you're missing out on one of the most valuable search engine optimization strategies available to you: using your keyword phrase in link text pointing to your pages.

4. You can leave your existing graphic-intense pages as they are, and instead concentrate on "off page" factors such as building link popularity to those pages and making sure that the pages linking to the graphics pages use link text that contains your important keyword phrase. In other words, you can work on your "link reputation."

After all, you can compete with the big boys using almost any strategy that is detrimental to search engine rankings if your link popularity and link reputation is strong enough, and if the sites linking to you describe your site using your important keyword phrase.

By "strong" enough, I mean that the links should be from popular, authoritative sites in your topic area. Sheer numbers aren't what we're after here. We're after links from popular and authoritative sites in our topic area. We're also after links that use our important keyword phrase in the link text describing our pages.

In Conclusion

Though the best solution is to add text to your pages of graphics, sometimes you (or your client) won't want to go that route. They may want to keep the existing pages just as they are.

In those situations, it's important to have some "Google friendly" solutions that will give you the best chance at achieving top rankings for your pages, while making sure that you're following the guidelines as stated by Google.

About The Author

Robin Nobles is the Co-Director of Training of Search Engine Workshops with John Alexander. They teach 2-day beginner, 3-day advanced, and 5-day all-inclusive "hands on" search engine marketing workshops in locations across the globe. She also teaches online search engine marketing courses through http://www.onlinewebtraining.com, and she's a member of Wordtracker's official question support team. With partner John Alexander, she's co-authored a series of e-books called, "The Totally Non-Technical Guides to Having a Successful Web Site." And, they opened a networking community for search engine marketers called The World Resource Center for Search Engine Marketers.

[email protected]

In The News:

SEO in 2020: Going Beyond Google  Search Engine Journal
Long Tail Keywords and SEO  Search Engine Journal
A Definitive Guide to Mobile SEO  Search Engine Journal
SEO: When to Scale (or Not)  Practical Ecommerce
Best SEO  WhaTech
Lawyer SEO Benefits When Using SEO Vs PPC  Legal Desire News Network
John Caiozzo  Search Engine Journal
The Biggest SEO Conference In 2020  Islington Tribune newspaper website
What Does It Mean to ‘Do SEO’?  Search Engine Journal

Anatomy Of A Top Ranking Web page

Optimizing web pages for high rankings in the search engines... Read More

The Power of Topic Specific Search

What are Topical Search Engines?Simply put, topical search engines are... Read More

Everything You Wanted To Know About Google -- But Were Afraid To Search For!

(A Reflective look at the little search engine that soared!)All... Read More

Rock Your Rank With a Dynamite Text Link - Yahoo Directory Explodes Rankings

Last week a client called me excitedly exclaiming that their... Read More

Types of Links

Internal Linking ? An introductionThe web as they call it... Read More

The Great Search Engine Experiment Revisited Who is the Coolest Guy in the Universe

A recent Search Engine Experiment Demonstrates how by combining Key... Read More

Understanding Googles Algorithm

What is the Google Algorithm?An algorithm is a mathematical equation... Read More

The Changing Face of Search Engine Optimization

With the ever evolving internet market for just about anything... Read More

The Reality of Search Engine Submissions

Over the last few months, search engine submissions have changed... Read More

Do-It-Yourself Keyword Optimization

The first step in a search engine optimization campaign is... Read More

Increase Your Page Rank Through SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) must be considered a process and... Read More

SEO and Directories

If you are a webmaster, then you've probably submitted your... Read More

How to Get Non-stop Free Traffic to Your Website

Yet the simple truth is that without traffic a website... Read More

10 Ways To Indirectly Get To The Top Of Search

There are millions of web sites trying to get listed... Read More

Search Engine Success & The Google-Vision Secret

Want to know the secret to great search engine listings?... Read More

Linking Strategies to Skyrocket to the Top of Google

If you don't know already, one of the key success... Read More

Emerging Methods for Effective Search Engine Ranking

Search Engine traffic has always been and continues to be... Read More

How to Increase Alexa Ranking of Your Website

Alexa toolbar also useful to Browse expired websites database. Many... Read More

Link Building: To Link, or Not to Link, That is the Question

Lately, there have been a lot of heated discussions regarding... Read More

Dont Submit Your Website To Any Search Engines

We all want to get our websites high up in... Read More

Buying Textlinks: The Latest SEO Craze

With search engine algorithms changing seemingly daily, the quest to... Read More

Google vs. Yahoo -- How To Rank High On Each One

Google likes incoming links, especially links from high-ranking, on-topic pages... Read More

Beat Google?s Dampening Link Filter with SEO Articles

Most Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts agree that links back... Read More

Search Engines The Masters Of The Internet Universe ? Part 3

This is part three of the article series and deals... Read More

SEO 101

SEO (search engine optimization) is a booming businees these days.... Read More