Google Indexing by Associating Text to Images and Links

by Luke Johnson on November 20, 2012

In a recent Google Plus Hangout about images, John Mueller said images are also indexed according to the text around them. He gave several good practices websites should do when it comes to images. Putting images on your website with not text does not mean it is no going to be indexed. It means it might not be indexed for all the keywords you want.

When I watched John’s video I was reminded of another video I watch by Rand Fishkin about anchor text and links. Rand’s “White Board Friday” video talks about Google associating links with the text around them. Should we think of links like we do images?

I may have written about this first hand experience in an earlier post but I would like to revisit it. I did a test on a website using just internal links. I would link to example.com/subpage using keywords relevant to the page from articles on the same site. I then added a title to the link using “(keyword) prices.” I did this about 15 times. Example.com/subpage went from the 9th page to the bottom of the 1st page for my test keyword.

It shocked me titles on internal links count so much. Also the page itself did not have “(keyword) prices” on the page. Does this mean Google treats links like images?

I wish I could say “yes” but since Penguin and Panda example.com/subpage no longer ranks in the first 10 pages of Google for “(keyword) prices.” It does make me think, however, Google may treat links a lot like images.

Google ability to associate text around images and links to itself gives me pause. Should I test and spam or should I warn you that keyword stuffing has been taken to a new level and Google is going to penalize you. And the answer is… both.

About Luke Johnson

Luke has been writing about SEO since early 2010. He lives in Tyler, Texas. Luke is studying marketing at University of Texas at Tyler. His education also includes two years at Tyler Junior College. Connect with Luke on Google+.

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