“Tapping Into Image Search” was one of the sessions I moderated last month at SMX West. We had a couple marketers on the panel, along with reps from Google and Yahoo. It was on day two of the conference, and several times later that day and on day three, I had people tell me it was their favorite session of the show. The information presented both from the search engines and the marketers was really good — lots of actionable tips about taking advantage of image search.
I just put one of those tips into action and want to share this with you. Peter Linsley of Google specifically suggested that images should be above the fold on your page.
On the U2 site that I manage, our news system places photos at the bottom of stories. So, unless it’s a really short article, the image will always be below the fold. Last night, one of our staffers covered a private U2 gig in Boston. We posted the story today, along with a great photo of the band on stage. Here’s the article. (link will open in a new window)
Since our system also doesn’t create thumbnails, I used the cheesy, bad-webmaster method of just resizing the photo and placing the smaller version above the fold at the top of the story. Have a look at how Google News treated our story:
We never get the extra thumbnail when we just have our images at the end of the stories we publish, but by putting a picture above the fold as Peter suggested, our listing on Google News and in Google News Alerts (email) looks much more attractive and eye-catching than listings from more well-known publications.
This isn’t exactly what Peter was talking about — he was referring to Google Image Search. But this shows that the same rule applies on other Google properties, too. Images above the fold can be a great way to get your listings to stand out on Google News and Alerts.
By the way, Peter recently made a video version of his presentation. You can watch it on YouTube.