My AR friend William Johnson wrote a fabulous post on April 1st this year about photo blogging: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About PhotoBlogging But Were Afraid To Ask
I chimed in with a few comments and mentioned I usually embed the photos I use in my blogs to get extra Google Juice. William called me out to share how I do that. I’m a little tardy, but here goes...
Search engines like Google and Bing love pictures! We hear this all the time but most bloggers don't take advantage of it. If we host our photos online at places like Google’s Picasa Web Albums or Flickr we give them a life of there very own, especially when they're about a particular location, building, or event. As we know, hyper-local blogging is very powerful and when we tie the photos to a precise location and add a good description they become very powerful directors back to us.
Case in point...
Let’s say you're coming to Renton, WA and you’ve heard about the Farmers Market and you want to check it out. You go to Google and type in “Renton Farmers Market”. This is a pretty generic search, right? Then you click on the images icon to look at a few photos.
The results may vary if you're well outside the region. In the snippet below these 3 photos were the first to show up in the Google search. Photos #2 and #3 are mine!
If you hover over either one (from the actual Google search results) they'll pop up into a small window with a description below (and you'll see the source was activerain.com). Click on the picture and it'll open up again into a larger view and pull in the source page behind it. Close the picture and view the source page. TA DA!! That's my Activerain blog post on the Farmer's Market from August 2010.
What just happened and why?
I hosted the pictures of the Farmers Market in my Google Picasa Web Album, The Blackberry Chronicles. They're public. I gave them a good description so Google knows exactly what where and when they are. I also made sure to locate the pictures by placing the marker on the Google Map so they are geocoded. Now they are dynamic content about a place and event seperate from (yet tied to) my blog.
Because the pictures are public, geocoded, and have a good description Google has indexed them as relevant content about a place and event. The kicker however is the Google Juice your Activerain blog already gets. My post generated a conversation about the event and by embedding the pictures in my Activerain blog I've created outbound and inbound links between my Google Picasa Web Album, my Activerain Blog, The Farmers Market on the Piazza, Renton WA 98057, and the other content that's been indexed about the event by the search engines.
Stay Tuned, we're going to the Picnik.
I usually get all of my blog pictures ready by uploading them to picnik.com. I love this site. It’s Adobe Photoshop for ADD people like me; simple, fast, and free. The tools are very straight forward. You can correct the colors and contrast for web presentation, resize, crop, enhance, overlay text, and add frames if you like. I broke down after using the free version for a couple of years (almost out of guilt) to use their great library of premium tools for $24.95 a year. Well worth the small investment.