Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Picasa, Blogger, image optimisation and SEO

a variety of RocktimeSocial blog images saved in Picasa

Rocktime has talked previously about Picasa as a photo sharing platform ‘Photosharing: Flickr versus Picasa’, in extension to that post, we would like to contribute some knowledge with regards to how Picasa integrates with your blogger account. Reason being, when using Blogger as your blogging platform, as we do here at Rocktime, you may not realise it but every image you upload through blogger goes onto your Picasa Web account.

With any free photo sharing web account, like Picasa, it is worth making sure about storage capacity. Picasa Web Albums offer a 1GB size limit, however, the additional charges for Google storage are fairly minimal. Not every single image you upload contributes to the total storage; images under a certain size will not count towards your 1GB limit. Furthermore, having a Google+ account will actually increase what you can upload for free, without taking it out of your 1GB limit. Google+ offers unlimited storage for photos uploaded in Google+, which are automatically resized to 2048 pixels. Videos up to 15 minutes in length are also free. G+ is almost turning into an image archiving facility.

An alternative is to use your own image hosting, uploading images to your domain, or using another online image hosting service, and then direct linking to the image through your blog post.

If you want to conserve space on your Picasa Web Albums account, another thing to look out for  is to manage duplicate images, which is an issue that sometimes crops up when uploading images to Picasa from your PC.

This is due to the way Picasa scans your computer for images; if you have the same image stored in a different file, Picasa might choose to treat it as two separate images. If you’re making use of the Import button to bring photos from your computer into Picasa, check the ‘Exclude Duplicates’ option at the bottom of the page. This will force Picasa to check for duplicate entries by comparing factors such as size and names etc, and hopefully remove the likelihood of any copies of images being uploaded.

Last year Google wrote some recommendations for improvement with the Google Picasa and Blogger integration which links to the Google Picasa Help Forum if more assistance is needed.

There are many other features from Picasa that help to keep a blog engaging, such as fast Picasa Web photo viewer, manager and uploader for Android devices - called Picasa Mobile -, which was designed to facilitate viewing and managing your online Picasa albums and photos.

Google Picasa Web Albums recently added a range of new image editing effects like Boarders, Vignette, Duo-tone, and more effects similar to editing in Adobe Photoshop, Irfan view and PaintNet photo editing software, which helps to make the photos look more professional.

There are numerous SEO advantages of optimising images in Picasa, like the ability to geo tag images, which adds geo-location details to help your local search engine rankings, high-quality backlinks pointing to your website, better page load time from reduced bandwidth and storage reduction, good search engine presence for your images, a library of images that can be shared socially, and you can even embed Slideshows in blog post from Picasa.

One feature that should never be overlooked with any images is the actual image optimisation process. We will write a more detailed brief on this in the coming weeks. Generally though, the rule of thumb is to make sure that the image is named accurately, that the image contains some of the keywords relevant to the blog or content of the article and that Google is given all the contextual and any localisation details about the image. This way, the chance of the image being found on Google Images is greatly improved. Every image on Google Images is a possible link back to a website and helpful to users. All good for user journey, mobile viewing, relevant content, sharing opportunities and SEO.  This can all be done in Picasa before uploading the image. Picasa allows that image to be shared in a number of ways, which is great for running marketing campaigns.

Once the images are uploaded to the blogger blog, it takes just a few moments to go into the HTML or right click the image in 'compose' mode and add the alt text for the image. Alt text, or alternative text of an image, tells the user about the image depending on the context in which the image is used.  Alt is not a tag, or a place to stuff keywords, it is an 'attribute'. Basically, search engines cannot crawl images, they index the text part attached with it, so the alt text is an alternative for non-visual browsers.
Images play a massive role in mobile, directories, user reviews, blogger engagement, social networks, websites, press coverage and organic inbound marketing link building campaigns.

If you’re interested in learning more about Google updates, services or how Rocktime helps businesses to use image optimisation as part of good practice for SEO, Accessibility and an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy, then please ask one of our Flashlight Search Marketing Team  about publishing your content to a larger audience, it is something we are passionate about and have been talking to our clients about for the last 2 or 3 years. Check out the blog we wrote back in 2010 about Good practice on adding images to Blogs.

Please get in touch with Rocktime Sales Team to arrange a meeting or leave us a comment below about how image optimisation can make a difference.

Author: Fiona Anderson


Unknown said...

Rocktime has talked previously about Picasa as a photo sharing platform 'Photosharing: Flickr versus Picasa', in extension to that post, we .

Unknown said...

With any free photo sharing web account, like Picasa, it is worth making sure about storage capacity. High PR Blog Comment On Seoclerks

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