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SES Session: Images and Search Engines

By TopRank Online Marketing     Online Marketing, Search Engine Strategies, Search Engines, SEO

Images and Search Engines at SES Chicago
What’s great about working in a new and constantly changing industry, that still manages to adhere to several of the rules of the past, is that you can take an old adage and play around with it and try to coin it to fit our new world.

For example, “An image is worth a thousand words,” could turn into:

  • “An image is worth a thousand links”
  • “An image search result is worth a thousand text search results”
  • “A properly branded image is worth a thousand non-branded images’
    And so on…

So were the themes of the hyper-paced “Images & Search Engines” today at SES Chicago.

Moderated by Anne Kennedy, the panel featured:

  • Shari Thurow, Founder & SEO Director at Omni Marketing
  • Chris “Silver” Smith, Lead Search Strategist at Netconcepts
  • Amanda Watlington, presenting on behalf of KeyRelvance’s Director of Internet Marketing Liana Evans

bladerunner2discdvd Imagine the difference in one of the greatest films of all time on a small, black and white television versus full plasma with surround sound. With universal search, in which images play such an integral role, you have the ability to completely surround yourself with whatever it is your heart desires in your search – whether it be simply text information, audio, video, or the aforementioned imagery.

Watlington, quoting from Evans presentation reminded us to remember the old days – 3 months ago – when oftentimes searches would just produce text links.

Now, whether you’re searching for coffee cafe_coffee2or Coffy coffy, chances are you will be welcomed with much more besides text.

This presents a unique challenge and opportunity for us as search engine marketers.

The opportunity, of course, is having far more at our disposal, in terms of methods and content, to ensure our clients are found. Fortunately, the work we have done to this point, whether it be keyword research or link acquisition, can guide us in this initiative as we optimize and help to increase image rankings. We also are afforded the ability for unparalleled creativity as we assist our clients in branding themselves through imagery, oftentimes complimented with new crawlable content.

The last benefit also leads us down the path towards our biggest challenge. Today, a firm, product or person simply must ensure they properly brand themselves with an image.

For example, imagine you are comparison shopping in a brick and mortar outlet. Would you be more apt to purchase the product you can see, or the one which is simply described? The rules of may SEO change daily, but the adage of a picture being worth a thousand words does not. This is a vital concept to take to heart for any online retailer.

Even more horrifyingly, what if someone else were to post images of you or your product that at minimum were unflattering and at worst scandalous? A “safe” image search of Hillary Clinton will bring up the former, while, I can only venture a guess here, an “unsafe” search is bound to bring up images evoking pure and unadulterated dread.

To be outplayed by the malicious image posters is one thing, but to not even counsel on the best ways to play the game would pigeonhole us in the unique purgatorial niche of “non-early adaptive SEMs”.

Has this post made you eager to see more of these “images”? Satisfy your eager-ocity with images live from SES Chicago.


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