Why Google Can't Read your Images - Montana Webmaster

One of the items I train my clients in is tagging and naming images specifically for the search engines. A seeing person can generally understand a well chosen photo, and understand it’s relevance to the topic. But, if you have a photo of a sailboat on Flathead Lake, what is the meaning of that sailboat to the page it’s on? Even if Google can tell it’s a sailboat, can Google get meaning from the image of the sailboat? It’s all in the words!

1. Is it just a pretty picture because your developer said you need a photo?

I see the image thrown onto the website quite frequently. The site owner has a beloved photo that doesn’t support the topic. For example, everyone loves their mountains. Often I see photos of mountains on websites. But that is generally a waste of screen real estate, unless you are selling your mountains, or something related to your mountains.

2. Are you selling real estate in the area?

3. Are you selling boats?

4. Do you rent sailboats?

Only the text around the photo can provide context and meaning for that photo.

But, this article shows how the science of identifying an image goes even deeper in the machine learning field, where someone might want a search engine to actually read the image incorrectly.

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