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How Important Are Images and Media for Blog Posts and SEO?

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When it comes to search engine optimization, there is one very big contender for whom nearly all websites must be optimized. Google produces far more search results than any other search engine, and in recent years busily has been revamping how its algorithm’s assess site quality and the all-important “user experience.” If a site has relevant content and provides a good user experience, Google will reward it with high rankings on search engine results. Failing to provide keyword relevancy and a good user experience will result in a negative rating and possibly being banned by Google’s search engine results.

To provide a good user experience, original content is very important. Also important is using various types of media that enhance that user experience, such as images and various types of multimedia, including videos and audio clips. The more varied the media, the better, so long as the content is good and done well. The content also must be original and not a copy of existing content available on other sites. That might be difficult if a content manager wants to embed a video but does not have the means or resources to produce an original video presentation.

Video and Media

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Video can be very important for many reasons. During a time when instant gratification is a primary motivator for many Internet users, the ability to view a short video is a great way for them to obtain information without having to read a great deal of text. Few things frustrate readers more than having to deal with a big block of text and scrolling up and down on a website. But when video is presented, they have imagery to view and passively can take in critical information, which makes for a very good user experience.

A good video also can result in a great deal of sharing from one site to another and on social media channels. When a video goes viral, it can reach millions of people in a relatively short time and for a very low cost to the provider of the video content. YouTube, Facebook and other social media sites have been great sources of video sharing. LinkedIn and Twitter also can generate a great deal of traffic when a video appeals to a large audience and is shared. When high quality sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others show a lot of linking activity to a video produced and published on a particular website, Google and other search engines, such as Bing, will assess that site more highly and give it a better score and ranking on search engines.

Photos and Images

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Just as video can add to the user experience, so can images. Whether it is a photograph, artwork, graphic design or some sort of chart or graph, an image can provide a great deal of information and greatly enhance the user experience. When a popular photograph or other image is shared on social media channels, Google, Bing and other search engines will rate the originating website much more highly and boost its rankings on search engine and keyword results.

Images are much easier to produce than video, although video has become easier to provide in recent years with webcams and handheld cameras. But images often times can be produced very easily and for very low cost when website owners and contributors can provide digital photos, proprietary artwork, graphs and other designs that illustrate information, entertain people and offer unique ways to demonstrate how something works or has an impact within a particular context.

Audio Content

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Audio content is another form a mass media that many times is overlooked by website content managers and developers. Audio is a relatively simple way to help website visitors experience a point in time, such as when providing audio content from an important event, such as a presidential speech, or from a highly popular event, such as a key replay of a sporting event as called by a radio play-by-play personality. Although most people were not alive when it happened, the famous radio broadcast of the Hindenburg disaster is a prime example of an audio replay going viral and remaining relevant even several decades after its initial production. With the Internet, audio can have a long-lasting impact when used smartly.

When it comes to search engine optimization and blog posts, using images and other forms of media can make a significant impact on the content quality. Using multimedia platforms to inform and entertain people also can create a much better user experience while producing highly unique content that search engines like Google and Bing greatly prefer and favor. A blog post with multimedia as well as a website with multimedia create a unique level of quality that will make them stand apart from competitors and improves their rankings. They also stand a much greater chance of being shared on social media channels and going viral.

Measurement Via Google’s Algorithm

Google uses a variety of algorithms that are upgraded once or twice per year. The algorithms measure many things, including the number of clicks and site link gets after appearing in search engine results, how long people stay on the sites and what kind of content is provided. Google site assessment tools automatically can assess the type of content provided and compare it against other sites that are indexed by Google to determine if there is any repetitive information or content that is duplicated from other sites. In such cases, Google will ban a site and not allow it to appear on its search engine results.

Around 2009, Google began a major crackdown on spam sites and other sites that provide low quality information and relatively poor user experiences. The development of the Panda and Penguin algorithms made it much more difficult for sites to simply slap up bland content targeting specific keywords and then rank high in search engine results. Many sites that previously had ranked highly on keyword searches suddenly found themselves excluded

Google wants to ensure two very critical things when people use its search engine. One is to be certain no spam websites are getting through its search engine results and the other a good user experience. If people enter keywords and then click on links to sites that wind up being low quality and irrelevant to the keyword search, then they are less inclined to trust the results provided by Google. But when Google ensures users are getting the best experience and truly unique and relevant content, the likelihood of Google remaining the top search engine is much greater than if the search engine produced irrelevant results and links to mostly spam sites.

That makes using images and multimedia very important to website builders and content managers as well as for blog posts. The better the user experience, the better the rankings as website will have on search engines. And when the search rankings are high, so is the traffic generated from search engines as well as social media sharing. Going viral is something most online marketers strive to achieve but rarely do. When they can use quality images and other types of media to enhance the user experience and drive more traffic to their sites, they become more effective and more profitable.

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Daniel Threlfall

Daniel has a nerdy fascination with SEO. He's even been known to study Penguin and Panda for "fun." As well as being a family man and world traveler, Daniel prefers his coffee without cream or sugar.

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