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10 Reasons Websites don’t rank in Google Pt6: Content in Images and Flash

May 4th 2010

Images and Flash animation are great ways to bring your web pages alive and create a truly interactive web page, however how do they really affect your Search Engine ranking?

Google and all the main search engines work on reading text and following links.

The contents of an image can be described to Google using what’s called an ALT or TITLE tag.

You can see these tags in action when you move your mouse over some images on a website. When you do this a small tooltip style message comes up with descriptive text.

With some images, it’s important to add meaningful text to describe the image, if the image is of something meaningful to the user.
For example, a product image in a shop would be a good example, where text along the lines of “Picture of a Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop Computer” might be used. This adds a little more context to the page, and helps Google include the image in its Google Images database.

Avoid putting key messages and words that you’d like Google to find in to the image itself. Often there are ways to display an image beneath text that achieves the same thing.

Finally, Flash is a great animation technology that can bring your website alive and provide a compelling interactive experience. BUT….Google cannot read flash content. If you have any words or links built in to Flash Technology, Google will never find them.

Many companies work around this by providing both a Flash and conventional website without Flash. The Flash driven website is the standard offering when the user visits the website, however the non-Flash version is purely to allow Google to discover it.

Having two websites can get you nicely round this issue, however that’s double the site, so double the effort and double the cost!

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