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Google, Yahoo Tweak Image Search

Google and Yahoo have both tweaked their image search layouts in recent days, highlighting, yet again, the importance images can play in maximizing content—including press release distribution.

Google Adds Image Carousel

Google's changes debuted on Thursday morning.  It added a new image carousel for viewing large image results within a few swipes. The feature is available in over 40 languages.

Yahoo Offers Social Sharing, Continuous Scrolling

This change followed by a few days Yahoo's announcement of its changes for searching for photos online–namely social sharing and continuous scrolling.  Yahoo Image Search now lets users share any image through Facebook and Twitter. In addition to social sharing, users can scroll down the Yahoo Image search results to see more photos.

"Type a query for a current event and users will see photos pertaining to breaking news, along with the ability to continuously scroll through the results," it said.

Yahoo made its new features available for all four sections–Top Images, Latest, Galleries and Facebook.

Press Release Optimization

It is little secret that images improve click-through rates on social media posts and blogs. Facebook posts with images offer marketers maximum effectiveness, according to Vitrue.

A recent post on PR Newswire's blog highlights the importance of images in another piece of marketing content: the press release.  Photos find their way into four of Google’s properties: universal search, news search, image search, and even Google Maps, it noted.

By optimizing their use, "photos can help you multiple your opportunities of getting your content displayed in Google search results."

While most people rarely go to the second or third page of results when they do a text search on Google, the behavior is markedly different for image search, it noted. To take advantage of this search behavior, it suggested:

Understanding how Google organizes search. "Google's search bots see the HTML tags of the images including the image source markup (img src) and the ALT Tags. Google then pulls the image, indexes it and classifies it… Google clusters duplicate and similar images like it does for text. It then renders one of the images in the search results."

Providing the best quality image and common image file format. The former is obvious, the latter, the post said, typically are JPEG (,jpg), PNG, and GIF. "Avoid obscure file type and those not optimized for web viewing."

Including a caption. "Always put important keywords at the start of the caption and keep the entire caption less than 2,000 characters."

Properly naming the image. Include the same keywords in the name of your image as well (keyword-keyword-keyword.jpg). There are conflicting accounts on whether Google actually looks at the information embedded inside the photo itself for indexing purposes, PR Newswire’s blog says.

"It is prudent to embed the key information including the caption, location and photo credit in the image itself. This will add context to photos that are found separate from their related content as well as enable the photographer to be identified which is important for rights purposes."

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