When you’re working online it’s almost inevitable that you use copyright free photos for your projects. There’s a lot of great websites like Pixabay and Stocksnap.io where you can source high quality photos for your project. Yet while you can use these photos for your sites without any copyright issues you won’t get any Google credit for your images.
Recently I’ve seen lot of image plugins running on WordPress that promise just this. They claim to deliver millions of images within your WordPress dashboard (which they do). They then promise that these images will rank on Google getting you more traffic (which they don’t).
As I’m not a big fan on deception I wanted to clear up the facts.
Let’s be blunt. Google doesn’t want to rank the same image multiple times in its listings. If they did you’d probably start using another search engine. So Google credits each image uploaded online one tim. That credit, the high rankings, usually goes to the person who first published the content online.
If you are looking to get Google credit the next time you use a copyright free image there is a simple trick you can use. It’s called screen capture.
There are a lot of screen capture tools available. I personally use Lightshot Screenshot, though there are a lot of great options out there. After you’ve saved the image it will appear on your computer desktop.
The screenshot you took is a unique image that has never been used before. Just by doing this you’ve increased your chance of the copyright free image you used ranking in Google from zero to something.
While I’m on the subject, I’ll cover a few more steps that you should take for optimising your images for the Internet.
The first step to preparing a photo for publication is resizing the image. I normally resize the image in pixlr.com/express. I’d recommend making your image larger than 640×480. This increases the chance of the photo coming up on Google when a person does an advanced image search (nobody looks for tiny images). When exporting from pixlr I recommend changing from .png (which is the format most screenshot software outputs on) to .jpg (which has a smaller file size). Again, it just helps limit the overall file size of your page or post and reduces load time.
An optional extra step is lossless compression of the image. A lossless compression removes the metadata attached to the image and further reduces the file size. There are a lot of different websites that will do this for you. I use Compressor.io. The tradeoff of lossless compression is the deterioration in the quality of your image (you can’t keep reducing the file size and keep the same quality).
After doing a Lossless compression you should add some new metadata to your image. To do this just right click on your image and select ‘get info.’ On the next page simply add tags and a short description (with a few keywords related to the article) to the image.
The steps outlined in this post will not make your images rank in a Google search, but optimising your images for the Internet is a good routine to get into. Reducing file size helps speed up your page loading page. Adding metadata helps Google figure out what you are trying to rank for. There just little things, but they do help and they don’t take much time to implement.