There, I said it and now I will jump into actual explanations and you can choose to either agree or disagree with me but either way I would appreciate your personal opinion. And perhaps the most important point of the post is that Flickr does you no favors when it comes to your WordPress blog Search Engine Optimization.
And obviously to prove my theory I have to paint some grim pictures, exaggerate, etc … or Do I?
Perhaps I better go with known facts and see if I can prove something this way…
Shared Hosting Constrains
Majority of the blogs are located on shared hosting. This is a known fact as well as all the limitations it imposes. Anyone who has a blog on shared host is aware that OFFLOADING media helps your blog, because it removes the bandwidth constrains.
And while absolutely true in some cases such as bandwidth intensive multimedia: video, audio; I think it should NEVER be applied to images.
Properly optimized images don’t take much room on your server and your bandwidth but they do help you get traffic from search engines! Here is an image of the stats for one of my small sites:
Keep in mind that Visitors From Google Image Search are nearly 10% of regular visitors from Google.
And that is fairly small site that has a few images hosted locally. But each image is optimized for searhc using simple following steps:
- Use English for image name with Keywords included. Simply means if image is a photo of a dog, don’t name it image001.jpg but be descriptive and make sure to include keywords in it. For example: cute_dog.jpg and if it is a picture of specific breed be even more creative and make sure to state it. Image name IS important in the eyes of Search Engines
- Use ALT Descriptions for Images. It is optional but it is helpful to search engines since they can’t see the image but only read what info you provide. Help them send you more traffic!
- Optimize Your Images. It is very important that you don’t just load image in whatever format you have it. Sometimes using optimization can reduce size down to 10% of original while still retaining quality that is visually good.
- Size your Images to Content. This one is too often overlooked by bloggers and I really don’t know why… Your blog’s main content area has a defined size (for a static theme) or a fluid, in which case you need to know what is the lowest size (screen resolution) retains usability. Optimize your image size to fit into those pre-defined areas. For example, I know this blog’s main content area presents me with a maximum width of 500 and I size all my images to fit with width=450.
- Host your images locally! Now this one is a big one… When Google finds a relevant image on your blog and presents it to people who search for it – where do you want those people to go? Your Blog Or Flickr?
While flickr provides you with some nice options to add interactivity to your blog – It Is Evil!
Images don’t take too much space on your shared hosted blog and they don’t take too much bandwidth but they CAN and WILL help you get some additional visitors if implemented properly.
A few simple steps I have outlined above not only will make your images most beneficial to your blog but also will ensure that Search Engines love them and will reward you with some free traffic!