“What can I do to improve my Google image results?”
This is a question we get a lot. Whether it’s a mugshot from a decade ago or an unsavory party picture from last night, if you have a negative photo showing up online it can be distressing. The good news is that more often than not the main problem is just a lack of image content. If there are very few images publicly available of you online, then it’s likely that any new image will show up—negative or not. For our purposes, this means there’s a good chance that any positive images that we put out on the web have a good chance at rising to the top of the results if there’s not much competition. And with a bit of time and effort, it’s often possible to eventually overwhelm the negative image result with new positive images.
Step 1 : Create a Foundational Presence Online
To do this, first read about building your foundational presence and advanced tactics from our series. Instead of just posting pictures on social media sites at will, take some time to create this foundational structure for your online presence as this will address all types of results, including images.
Step 2 : Gather Positive Photos of Yourself
If you are dealing with negative images of yourself online, it’s critical to create your own arsenal of images that portray you positively. Make sure that you have a few professional headshots at your disposal. Remember, this doesn’t mean that you have to invest a lot of money, just make sure that these are current high quality photos. In addition to professional photos, gather any other images that reflect you in a positive light that you would be comfortable sharing. Because image searches return more results than a traditional web search, the more photos you have, the better! Try to have at least a few dozen images on hand, and if you find that you don’t have that many images, then it’s time to get snap happy!
Step 3 : Leverage Photo-Oriented Networks and Sites
The first thing you’ll need to do is set up a few methods of sharing photos online. Lucky for you, there are a ton of services out there that are happy to make this simple and quick. To begin, choose at least 3 of the below services and sign up for accounts. Make sure to follow the same strategies that you learned in building your foundational presence on Google and advanced tactics. Use your actual name, include your location and fill out any descriptions or bios. Also, make sure that you link back to your website.
Image oriented sites include:
***Pro tip: Use sites that don’t seem image oriented, but secretly are, like :
Step 4: Start uploading your images!
Now that you’ve got some photos, you’re just about ready to start uploading them. Log on to your service of choice, and start submitting them. For those sites that don’t seem image oriented, make a point to upload presentations and videos to your own profiles, and generate activity by; commenting on content from other users, like, follow users, etc. In the case of Vimeo, Slideshare, Youtube and Prezi, there’s a good chance that stills from your presentations/videos and thumbnails from content that you have commented on will show up in your image results!
Step 5: Let Google know the image is about you
When you upload a photo or image to any of the services suggested above, make sure that you let search engines know the image is about you! That means you’ll need to add some descriptive information to the photo.
- Include your name in the filename of each image of you (ie yournameplayingmusic.jpg)
- Add a description of the picture if you can! Make sure to include your full name.
- For example: “Your Name playing music in New York” would be a great description of a photo of you playing the guitar in New York. The key here is that we’re letting search engines know that the photo is about “Your Name”, and if “music” and “New York” are other things that you want your name to be associated with… that’s even better.
- Include Captions : Similar to adding a description, when working with images, feel free to include captions. However, if it doesn’t look natural, don’t do it.
- Tag yourself : Many social media sites allow you to “tag” the different people in uploaded photos. This just means you’re able to quickly add a visual link to a person’s profile from a photo. If this option is available on a social media site, tag yourself in the photo. This is one more way for search engines to recognize the photo is of you if that photo and profile are set to public.
Step 6: Make a Push on Your Profile
Now that you’ve uploaded your photos and let Google and other search engines know the image is about you, it’s time to really get that image out there!
Create a new post through your profile on any of the sites mentioned in Step 3. There you can share the images or create new posts with them. In addition to sharing and posting singular images, don’t forget that you can also create content from these pictures. Spend some time creating albums, projects, videos, presentations or gallery pages featuring these images that you have collected, then share this on your various social media platforms. Sharing links to these images is an important step because they present these images in a publicly indexable form which is search engine friendly.
Step 7: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
- Keep updating your properties with new images of yourself, and maintain consistent activity (ie. commenting, sharing, posting, following, liking, etc) across these sites. If you have other search terms that you are looking to improve, consider undergoing the same process for those keywords as well. Read our reputation management guide so you’re always well-versed in tactics that work. And as always, remember that this is a process, and the above steps give you the best chance for improving your image results over time.