Natural Search Blog


Texas Stadium Demolition Case Study – YouTube Still Tops For Video Promotion

Texas Stadium Implosion - Time LapseWhenever I know I’ll be near some major spectacle, I try to photograph it or video it. Not only are such events great practice for a search marketer, the content is great for getting links from individuals and from newspapers. So, when I heard about the scheduled Texas Stadium Demolition, I couldn’t resist, even though it was painfully early in the morning (7:00 a.m.).

I’ve written here before on how Flickr introduced videos in order to compete with the popular YouTube. Flickr’s owned by Yahoo, while Google owns YouTube.

Both services have a huge usership, however, (more…)

Speaking at Dallas WordCamp 2009

Wordcamp Dallas 2009I’m speaking at this year’s WordCamp in Dallas again later this week.

WordCamp is a mini-convention for WordPress and blogging enthusiasts. Some of the content is WordPress-centric, but other content is applicable to bloggers in general, such as how to promote your blog and other stuff.

I’ll be speaking on how to use social image sharing services for promotion. Social media sites such as Flickr allow people to publish and share their photos with many other people, and the site is well-constructed in terms of search engine optimization, so posting images there helps get media distributed all over. Using Flickr can help one gain more attention, inbound links, and overall search rankings.

I’ve spoken on using Flickr for promotion and optimization before, and I’ve written on details of image optimization here a number of times.

I’d further recommend blogging to everyone – I first started blogging here on the Natural Search Blog as a guest, after Stephan Spencer invited me, and it eventually changed my overall career path. Be sure to check out Stephan’s articles on blog optimization, btw, since he’s pretty much the top authority out there on the subject.

There’s still a few seats left for Dallas WordCamp – sign up before they’re all gone!

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Flickr *IS* Good for Search Marketing – Despite Naysayers!

I’ve seen a recent article or two claiming that Flickr can no longer be leveraged for SEO purposes. As frequent readers here know, I’ve long been a proponent of using Flickr, both for its great Web 2.0 features, but also for its marketing/promotional value. I’m sure I’m one of the people that article writer was thinking of when he mentioned hearing recommendations for use from other articles and search marketing conferences.

Flickr can still be a valuable source of internet promotion, and a great tool for the purposes of Image Search Optimization. Read on and I’ll explain. (more…)

Google Photos To Compete With Flickr?

The Google Operating System blog reports that Google is likely changing the name of their Picasa photo sharing service to “Google Photos”.

A few other features are due to rollout as well, including licensing options, email photo uploads, and tagging of people in pics. (more…)

Flickr As New YouTube Killer?

Michael Arrington at Techcrunch reports that video is coming soon to Flickr.

This is great news, and I think it could become an overnight major competitor to YouTube — having both types of media available via one site/service makes for a lot of convenience.

Though, people may not realize that it’s already been possible to a small degree, if you upload an animated GIF to Flickr (see this example where I uploaded an animated sequence of a glider’s movement from Conway’s Game of Life).

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Flickr Starts Nofollowing

Solitary RockA couple of my colleagues, Brian Brown and Jeff Muendel, identified that Flickr has begun NOFOLLOWing hyperlinks in their photo profile pages. I’ve confirmed this and have a few more details to add. (more…)

Using Flickr to Optimize for Yahoo Image Search

Google Blogoscoped reports that Yahoo’s Image Search now particularly likes Flickr content, so this may be incentive for webmasters to use Flickr “as a kind of Yahoo search engine optimization”. My frequent readers know that I’ve been advocating using Flickr for image search optimization for some time now, and I’ve been speaking on this subject at Search Engine Strategies conferences as well.

The Blogoscoped mention of Yahoo’s love for Flickr content is particularly timely, since Yahoo! announced back in June that they were permanently shutting down Yahoo! Photos in favor of their Flickr property, and the final closing date is tomorrow, September 20th.

Previously, I’d railed a bit against Yahoo! because I’d seen a lot of evidence that they didn’t spider/index Flickr content as well or comprehensively as Google did — altogether ironic since Yahoo owns Flickr. Just as with the anecdotal reports in the Blogoscoped post, I’m seeing nice indications that my earlier criticism of Yahoo’s lack of inclusion of Flickr content may now be completely resolved. (more…)

Flickr, why have you screwed up the ALT text?!?

Flickr,
you do a lot that I love – you’re easy to use, and you’ve built-in such elegantly simple and strong features. You’re engineered to function well for SEO, too – your pages are built with spider-friendly URLs, you have multiple link hierarchies, and you allow users to enter in lots of custom text which can allow for optimal TITLEs, H1 text, description captions, user-tagging, and cool geotagging. you even have a fairly cool blog to communicate with your community of users. But, you’ve messed something up this year that irritates the heck out of me:

Flickr’s ALT text is blank on the image pages!

Yes, it’s true – on each image’s main page, the image has nothing in the ALT portion of the image:

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<img src=”http://farm1.static.flickr.com/36/112354736_1de2bc367c.jpg?v=0″ alt=”” width=”500″ height=”375″ onload=”show_notes_initially();” class=”reflect”>

I’m pretty sure that your ALT text was working in the past, but at some point, one of your developers made it so that the image’s custom title text no longer gets populated into the IMG ALT parameter, reducing one of the prime signals that inform search engines as to what keywords apply to an image.

Search engines aren’t the only ones that use that ALT text — it’s also important for the vision-impaired who surf the internet using “talking browsers”. Yeah, yeah — I know — why would the vision-impaired be surfing Flickr to begin with? Well, they can run across the pages when searching for various types of information, just like everyone else.

Please, please, Flickr: fix your ALT text!

Yours truly,
A Devoted Fan

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Images & Search Session at SES NYC, 2007

As promised, here’s the copy of my preso from the Images & Search panel discussion at the Search Engine Strategies Conference in New York, April 2007.

Also, here’s the Image Sharing Sites Comparison Chart that I created while researching out the potential for improving sites’ traffic through integration with social sharing services.

I see that one blogger, Morpheus Media, posted a good bulleted summary of the Images & Search session.

My new company, Netconcepts, does SEO consulting and web development. As I mentioned, the area which I was hired to work upon is some software service that Netconcepts provides which I describe as a near turnkey SEO solution for dynamically generated websites. One area where I do research is in using image sharing sites like Flickr to improve rankings for sites such as online product catalogs which have lots of photographs. Contact me if you’re interested in these services, or if you have any questions about optimizing for image search or through photo sharing services.

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.

(more…)

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