Get More Traffic from Bing’s Image Search

    August 28, 2009
    Chris Crum

In a previous article, we discussed why and how to rank in image searches. The article was based on discussion from the recent Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. Bing’s Todd Schwartz was part of that discussion, and he has now shared additional insight into Bing’s image search.

Sidenote: WebProNews has just uploaded an interview with Google’s R.J. Pittman, who discusses Google Image Search optimiziation.

Todd Schwartz "Behavioral data shows that consumers engage deeply in Image Search tasks, with nearly double the page views per query on average as we see in the more text-centric core search experience," says Schwartz. "Looking at the consumer research, our analyses show that images on a traditional search results page are a big driver of consumer satisfaction, especially for task related queries like buying products, catching up on celebrity gossip, or planning a trip."

"This is one reason why we are seeing images both on the main search results page and within the Image Search verticals," he adds.

A study from Microsoft found that consumers can process results with images 30% faster than results with text only. This data highlights why image search optimization should be of concern to webmasters. In theory, the more you can control your presence in relevant image results, the more traffic you are likely to get.

Schwartz shared some recommendations for image search optimization from Bing’s top image developer:

– Name image files appropriately – For improved relevance, make sure that the file name describes the image appropriately.

– Alternative image text (alt text) matters – For increased optimization, make sure photos are properly described with alternative text tags, and ensure that test within any images is also

– Watch frame breaking – Sites that attempt to break frames make it more difficult for the image to display correctly within search.  Make sure you’re testing your site against the search engines.

Of course Bing is just one piece of the search market puzzle, and not the biggest piece by any stretch of the imagination, but the search engine’s presence is being felt, and it is growing. If that Micosoft Yahoo deal goes through, it will grow very significantly, when Bing results start appearing in Yahoo searches. It still won’t be getting Google’s share, but it will be much more significant.

For more tips on being found in image searches (on both Bing and Google) read this article. For more on being found in Google’s Image search as well as various other Google search engines, check this one out.