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Optimizing through Image Sharing Sites – SES Presentation

Here is the full Comparison Chart of Image Sharing Sites which I mentioned in my presentation on Optimizing through Image Sharing Sites at the SES Chicago ’06 Conference. Also, here is my PowerPoint presentation on Optimizing Through Image Sharing Sites.

There are quite a lot of Image Sharing Sites out there currently, but only a few of them stand out as best-in-class for potential SEO benefit purposes. Read on for a few more notes about this.


Images in of themselves do not have good keyword content. The sites which got the most checkmarks on this chart had the most features for associating keywords with images including linking and other signals that search engines might use for ranking purposes. My assumption is that image sharing sites which have great SEO themselves would potentially provide the most SEO benefit if one optimized through them, and my experimenting with these sites appears to bear this out.

Flickr has the best SEO potential of all, with 23 and Fotki running in second. Flickr’s traffic and PR is higher than 23 and Fotki by a few orders of magnitude.

There can still be value from optimizing images through the other sites that I didn’t rank as high as Flickr. For instance, MySpace could still give some bang for the buck through users coming through that service IF you’ve already optimized your Flickr profile page and hyperlinked the titles of the photos you upload in there.

Flickr seems the easiest to use, though, because they have automated all the linking hierarchies and such which allow the SEs to easily spider the pages. If you had hundreds of images you needed to optimize, Flickr is also best-in-class for their great APIs which can help you automate image uploading and such.

One criticism I verbally delivered during my preso was for Flickr, or at least for Yahoo! — both Google and MSN properly have indexed Flickr pages in their Image Search results, while Yahoo has barely scraped the surface. 30 lashes with a wet noodle to Yahoo for not taking advantage of all this great info found in Flickr for the purposes of their Image Search vertical! Shameful!

Flickr pages ARE indexed nicely in Yahoo!’s regular web search results, though, and I would guess (hope) that they will soon beef up their image search results with Flickr’s great content.

I have earlier blogged a bit about image opimization through Flickr, if you’re interested. I’ve also previously blogged about general SEO of images, which cover some basic points.

If you want a good example of my Flickr optimization tips, check out my blog posting from last night on Chicago’s most eccentric restaurant, Moto., which I visited while here at SES in Chicago.

Another great example I’ve previously cited is this wedding pic which has gotten some nice traffic and has been listed for quite some time as the Most Interesting picture for one of the most-popular keyword tags of “wedding”. Surprise, surprise, this pic shows as most popular in Google image search for “spinning kisses” keyword search. Now, wouldn’t it have been great if the photographer had used “wedding photography” or “wedding photographer” as their picture’s title instead of “spinning kisses”?

My most-popular picture from my flickr pix is this screen-grab of an odd swastika-shaped building on a US military base. This pic became my most-popular because I applied almost all the optimization tips that I mentioned in my presentation. Users have commented a lot on it, added it to their Favorites lists in flickr, and I even had a European news site mention it (and link over to it!).  I linked over from it to my blog postings on Flickr geotagging and image search optimization, and got quite a bit more traffic to the blog site as a result. The image was a bit too offensive IMHO for me to throw it up on-screen during my SES presentation, though.

Instead, the example pic of mine that I used for my presentation flickr image was of beautiful Holly Hill House on Catalina Island, which I visited while on vacation back in the spring.

Holly Hill House, profile, Catalina Island



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