1 Reply Latest reply on Apr 22, 2010 10:32 AM by Nancy OShea

    How to help an image-based site's Google indexing?

    jyeager11 Level 1

      I've a client whose site, due to budget and time constraints, is made up mostly of images. It's not a high-traffic site, but it's a site whose target audience requires more visual "wow" than most. I am prefacing with this because I just know someone's going to say "use more text" and that's not what I'm here asking about.

       

      Instead, my question has to do with Search Engine Indexing of sites made up mostly of images. Perhaps Flash-based sites have the same problem, but I don't believe in those. The site in question has no Flash. It's 100% valid HTML markup, only that it's got more images than text. Even the company address and phone numbers are images. Don't argue with me, it just is, and had to be this one unique time. ;-)

       

      Could I compensate for the lack of text by creating a DIV loaded with company info, putting it immediately after the body tag in the code, and placing it outside the viewport so no one ever sees it?

       

      I thought of simply putting a display:hidden on it, but thought crawlers like Google's probably look for that bit of code. It's so easy to check for, after all.

       

      Will placing a div outside the viewport with pertinent text in it help with the SEO concerns? At least a little bit?

        • 1. Re: How to help an image-based site's Google indexing?
          Nancy OShea Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I think you already know the answer to this question so I won't beat a dead horse here.

           

          Could I compensate for the lack of text by creating a DIV loaded with company info, putting it immediately after the body tag in the code, and placing it outside the viewport so no one ever sees it?

           

          Google frowns on site owners who try to manipulate search results by seeding pages with hidden keywords.   I'm not suggesting for one moment that YOU would do that but lots of people have tried this with very bad results -- blacklisting or total removal from Search results.

           

          Let's say you have a graphic banner in your header with the company name, slogan and phone number on it.  It's obviously got content on it but it's not indexable.  I think you could safely use an object replacement technique by adding a real text equivalent to the header and setting text-indent to -99999px.  This makes the text readable by screen readers and bots that don't use CSS while keeping it out of view of sighted humans. Just make certain that whatever text you use has a graphic equivalent on the page or you run the risk of being blacklisted.

           

          In addition, be sure to apply alt and title attributes to every graphic. Search engines don't place much importance on them but they won't penalize you for using them either.

           

          Best of luck,

           

          Nancy O.
          Alt-Web Design & Publishing
          Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists
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