Is Google Image Search Worth a Marketing Look?

Today I’m the proud recipient of one of our industry’s most fun and creative writers, Anthony Pensabene (@content_muse).  There are three things I can tell you about Anthony.  One, he can hang later than me at a party.  Two, my fiancé is a little too attracted to him (“when are we seeing Hot Anthony again?”), and three, he’s got style.   Thanks for taking the time, sir.  – Bill


Much like Santa’s helpers, I’ve been busy, tinkering around of late, using my site as a platform to learn some technical and development insights.

In the last weeks, I’ve broken links, torched tags, and performed cosmetic alteration, acting the WordPress Dr. Moreau.  It’s been fun; some alternations turned out looking okay, some not so much.

Let’s take opportunity, and discuss things I could do differently, considering strategy along the way.

Mind Your Legacy

Publishing a well-received post is great.  There is immediate gratification, and you feel like, “Cool, I didn’t spend all that time dressing dapper, donning a bow tie tonight for nothing.”

But, don’t be a temporary gent; be a timeless one.  Think about content’s legacy, not its immediacy. How will your brand be remembered when its pages are old and wrinkly?

Let’s take a look at my blog’s overall impression so far.  This snippet reflects all-time terms searched, leading to Content Muse traffic.

In the beginning, I started this blog as a branding platform, associating my name and grown-up alias, content muse.  I’ve done a decent job; however, what else is getting searched and clicked on?

“best buy holiday overstock shopping spree giveaway” —  “http:redeem..” —  and one other reference to a Best Buy/Overstock issue I got to the bottom of, is quite prevalent.

I could have done better (along the way), considering how I want readers, peers, and clients associating my brand in an ongoing fashion.

I’m interested in content creation, creativity, branding, reputation management, public relations, peer relations, etc.  Turn-ons include nice smiles and big brains.

Let’s consider strategy.  For instance, lately I’ve been digging the leverage of search operators, writing twice on the topic in a short time frame.

Let’s go in Webmaster Tools, taking a look at how the endeavor influenced reader search behavior as well as results.

I’m not taking over the SERs for the term, but I made a small impression’s impact, likely affecting the reception of peers and readers too, creating a stronger association to the topic and endeavor of using operators.  [“Search operators? Oh, Anthony likes playing with those..”]

That’s a good thing.  How do you want your brand remembered?  Develop a branding strategy, infusing branding principles.

Now let’s consider a blunder I made.

When uploading a picture in WordPress(.com), one may create a separate URL to the image.  I noticed my site performing slowly, got to thinking I could improve speed, and began eliminating extraneous URLs.

I (thought) I tested what happens if the URL is eliminated, not wanting to rid the blog of the picture, just the link.

But rather than from the actual HTML of each, I made alterations from the media files, which was dumb.

…I broke the images to those pictures, spending hours making sense of my posts, adding new pictures, but now I know better.

Let’s go back to the notion of legacy.  One can also make a legacy via pictures.

I wrote a post a while back on authenticity, including a visual reference to Plato’s cave allegory.

An included picture was tagged with associated terms, appearing in SERs and attracting click-throughs to my pages.

The traffic is serendipitous in nature, but shows how graphics serve browser queries.

So, I was doing some thinking..

..which is dangerous in itself, but potentially helpful for small businesses.

This is interesting.

This is interesting

My post ranks decently for the phrase, “allegory of the cave.” I grew curious of the phrase’s data.

allegory of the cave

The phrase and associated varieties get monthly search traffic, despite the obscure, long-tail nature.

Then I got to thinking..more.

Rather than a didactic term or one associated with a scholarly rather than commercial pursuit, what do images look like for commercial-related terms, such as “eighties t shirts”?

I call upon my SEO ninja utility belt and Moz tools.  I look at the first image.  The page’s domain authority is low, has only fair Moz rank, but G serves up an on-page image first for a competitive search term, like “eighties t shirts.”

This page, associated to the first picture of the image search, offers long content.  It’s not outstanding, yet the page offers a mixture of prose, graphics, video, and outgoing links; a consumer may be pleased, confronted with the variety and nature of the content.

The aligned image doesn’t have eighties-related alt text.

That’s a primary, optimizing images on a web page suggestion.

Let’s look at another image, regarding the same “eighties t shirts” image search.

This page has low domain authority, nil page authority, and Moz tools does not think much of it altogether.

From a consumer’s perspective, it offers little, the page continuing on and on in a ridiculous fashion, listing site-wide tag links.

I wonder if there is some real potential here for small vendors to make a big impact via image searches.

As mentioned, the first (reading top to bottom, left to right) image is associated to a good (not great) content page, with other pages in the image results having little valuable content, a number being connected to high-authority domains, pulling weight.


Let’s take a look at our phrase “eighties t shirts” using Ubbersuggest (it has no image search suggestions for the term, but plenty for web searches.)  Let’s say we wanted to begin taking precedence in the ‘image’ SERs for “eighties band t shirts.”

I would consider establishing a small business’ content strategy, targeting these eighties t shirt related searches, by emulating a blog rather than product page structure.

For example, let’s relate t shirts to a concert experience, fan opinioneccentricities, etc, formulating stories featuring and relating the product.

Get creative with content, making it enjoyable as well as commercial.

Check From Exactly Where Potential Leads/Traffic is Coming

I want to see if Google makes a distinction between web and image searches related to my sought, “eigties t shirts” term.

It doesn’t when I try to discern in the keyword suggestion tool.   I do a quick search online for discussion on the matter.  Making a distinction as to where exactly traffic is coming/going is important, and I would like to hear from any one with some insight on the image search matter.

There may be opportunity for small businesses to gain traction via image search, though consumers are well conditioned to restrict behavior to web searches only.

Perhaps creating an image-centric browser tool or extension would help condition behavior.  What about teaching consumers to use Google differently, in a way more advantageous to your business?

Does every consumer do this?

No, but every consumer could if conditioned to do so.

Going back to my blog’s alignment with Plato’s cave, I believe it has to do with the obscure, long-tail nature of the search term, and my domain/page’s decent authority/traffic, a situation which could parlay itself to commercial opportunity.

See if specific images are providing traffic.  If so, how is your brand best optimizing on-page elements? If you’re getting click-throughs from images, ensure the page further capitalizes.  That’s conversion-rate optimization.

If you are not optimizing images, consider advantages the enterprise could afford.

Can you influence your consumers to search differently for your variety of services/products?

Google image search may be worth a marketing look, eh?

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