For most businesses, web images have been kind of a way to spruce up the old website. They haven’t really been too necessary to be found on Google, as long as you had good content to back your site up with. All that, however, may be changing.
At its ‘Inside Search’ event in June, Google announced the release of “Google Search by Image”, a new way of providing search results. Instead of typing in a search query, or using keywords, users can simply drag an image into the search box, or paste an image URL, and Google will pull up any related site with a similar image on it.
How Does it Work?
This nifty bit of technology uses a combination of shape and color recognition algorithms to find pages with visually similar images, and returns those pages to you in your search results. Google has expressly stated that it does not use facial recognition technology for searches involving people, but that it exclusively relies upon its new shape and color algorithms.
The search is very easy to use. Simply visit http://images.google.com/ and click the little camera button in the search box, and you can upload images from your computer, drag images into the search box, or paste an image URL into the search box, and watch Google go to work for you.
This is particularly handy for tourists who want to know what a building is, or people visiting a museum wanting to know more about a particular piece, but how is it going to affect businesses?
Effects On Businesses
First off, it is going to be more important than ever to make sure you are posting images of your products on your site. You want to make sure if someone is searching for your product using the image, your site is coming up in Google’s Search by Image results. If you do not have a similar image on your site, your site will not show up in the search results at all!
Here is an example of an image search results page that I got by pasting just an image of an iphone 4:
As you can see at the bottom of the iphone 4 results, Google only returns pages that have similar images posted. If you sell iphone 4′s, you better have a picture of one on your site or your clients will end up on somebody else’s site. If you have a unique building or brick-and-mortar store, get a picture of it on your site.
Not only will this new tool be useful for places and objects, it can also be used very effectively in searching for pictures of people. This is going to make it vitally important to be careful how you use your pictures online. If an employer searches for an image of you on Google, what is going to be returned? If your clients search for you, will there be a list of professional blog posts, or just a bunch of comments on fail blog?
Search by Image is, like all of Google’s products, only going to be refined with time. Some pictures are much easier to identify right now for Google than others. But one thing we are sure of is that images are now more important than ever to have on your website.
Boostability is still a relatively small company, but they have been gaining momentum and turning some heads in the SEO world recently. Why? That’s exactly what we aimed to find out.
Boostability’s main business is building software to enable SEO do-it-yourselfers and those looking to perform SEO as a service themselves. While we don’t appreciate them encouraging every kid with a computer to start his own SEO business we were impressed with some of the tools they have developed.
If you have any information about this company we invite you to comment. You can also visit their official site, Boostability.com for more information.
We found out about SEO Link Vine through a webinar about link building. The host spent at least 10 minutes talking about the product and what it does. Regardless of any agenda on his part, the presentation certainly got us wondering about this company and the service they provide.
In taking a deeper look into SEO Link Vine we found several interesting facts. First, SEO Link Vine was started by the near-celebrity status clickbank individual, Brad Callen. He began developing SEO Link Vine by creating and recruiting websites and amassing a large article network for link building. SEO Link Vine’s most valuable service is the software they created that allows you to spin and post articles across this network in order to gain back links.
The idea of spinning articles and submitting them across as many websites as possible is not a new idea, the hardest part is simply moderating the spam and keeping the article websites white listed. Our main concern with SEO Link Vine is how they are managing this. Links are only good if they are worth something, and how much they are worth depends on the quality of the network. Aside from those concerns the service seems affordable and fairly simple to use.
If you have any information about this company we invite you to comment. You can also visit their official site for more information.
SeoQuake is a plugin for firefox and chrome that grabs SEO related stats about sites on demand. In their own words: “SeoQuake is a programme, which allows user to view a large number of SE parameters on the fly. SeoQuake for Mozilla Firefox consists of three functional parts: SeoToolbar, Seobar and output of requested parameters on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).”
As we reviewed SeoQuake we came across one major concern. If used extensively the plugin could put your IP at risk in terms of becoming banned from even accessing search pages like Google.com. Frequent use of large amounts of parameters may lead Google or Yahoo cracking down and blocking your IP. If this occurs there is a way around it, but it requires cookie clearing and changing proxy servers. If you are only using the plugin casually you shouldn’t run into problems, but it did surprise us a little to hear.
Aside from the moderate risk we found the plugin to be fairly useful. The stats it pulled about page rank and other ranking factors were fast and accurate.Visit their site for more info.
SEO Moz is basically a suite of tools designed to provide marketers with a handful of competitive advantages. We found the toolbox to be useful, but the price seemed pretty steep.
What did we like?
We thoroughly enjoyed the juicy link finder, and the top 500 list. Some of the tools they had seemed a little redundant. Many of them overlapped a little and their linkscape and rank checking tools didn’t seem to agree with numbers reported by yahoo, rank checker and other major services.
What could they do better?
Well, we feel that they could speed up their system a little. When you first create a campaign it takes up to 24 hours for the crawl stats to appear. We would also like to see agreement with stats provided by their system and other softwares. It seemed like their numbers were typically lower for things like total number of backlinks found and keyword rank.
Overall they are a good service and provide some excellent resources. If your budget affords it we recommend checking them out.
Quirk search status is a plugin for firefox that displays Alexa rank, Google page rank, Compete rank, and moz rank for the current page. What we wanted to know was how it is different from all the other plugins that do the same thing. The demo video showed some exciting new features, but they don’t roll out for a little while longer. Until that happens Quirk is kind of indistinguishable from a whole plethora of firefox plugins. Visit their site for more info.
SEO For Firefox is a firefox browser plugin that comes in handy for checking page rank quickly and a pages incoming links. One thing we found particularly awesome about this handy little tool is that it even tells you how the incoming links are distributed over major domain extensions, so you can see if a site has .edu, .org, or even .gov links coming in. Visit their site for more info.