SEO for Images, sIFR Conversion Tool and a New Way to Make Multi-Column Layouts
There’s a lot of interesting news hanging out in my newsreader this morning. These were the most notable:
Optimize Your Site for Google Image Search
In SEO you generally don’t think about optimizing images, but that’s not the case when you consider the traffic you can get from Google Image Search. creativebits offered some excellent advice on how to optimize your images for Google Image Search.
- Most importantly enable enhanced image search in google sitemasters tools. Find it under Diagnostics / Tools / Enhanced Image Search
- Give meaningful names to your images.
picture1.jpgwill not do.
GreenSeaTurtle.jpgis much better.
- Give long description tags to your images. Example:
longdesc="Green sea turtle underwater nature photography". (Thanks Steve for the tip!)
- The alt tag should be used for a short description such as
alt="turtle"in case the image doesn’t appear for any reason and because most likely Google uses it to index the images as well. It should however be empty if the image is used purely for decorative purposes.
- Upload images as big as possible. Link big size images to the previews used on your site. The bigger the image the more priority is gets.
- The title of the page where your image resides matters. Although you will not be naming your page to optimize for the image, it’s still good to know.
Convert TrueType Font to Sifr Flash File
For those who want a quick way to convert their fonts to a sIFR SWF file, there’s now an online tool that will do it for you. Ian Purton put together the TrueType Font sIFR Converter to make designers’ lives even easier. The only caution I would have about this service is that it may not make the smallest file possible (since you can reduce the size yourself by removing the bold and italic version of the font) and if you want the latest and greatest version — like sIFR 3 beta — you may have to do it the old school way.
Multi-Column Layouts Climb Out of the Box
My favorite HTML/CSS code for creating multi-column layouts has been Yahoo! UI Grids. The problem with YUI Grids is that they have a lot of nested DIVs and a lot of extra code. Alan Pearce published an article on a clever multi-column model hack. I call it a hack, because it uses gigantic borders to create the side columns. Regardless, it works and it works quite well.