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I'm also wondering if changing the image URLS will trigger any type of duplicate situation for Google or cause it to distrust images from the website. Thanks.
I would not expect any kind of duplicate problems from renaming image file names or changing file paths.
If you change the file path (including the file name), I think you may end up back at the beginning of the queue for a while.
So, changing the file path may decrease some ranking factor enough that for a period of time the image vanishes, but then once that period elapses better benefits could be realized? I think that's what you're saying. Thanks for your input, tedster.
Was it worth the effort?
Definitely, do I assume you have a plain html site?
If so the results could be dramatic and a lot faster than it used to be, I am getting new site build images ranking well within a couple of months these days.
This is a very valuable freebie!
1. Make sure the image is actually the name of the widget, do not give it some random hexadecimal number
2. Complete the alt and title attributes
3. Make sure the html file name is the widget name
4. Ensure the titlebar is the widget name
5. Complete the description with the widget details
6. Complete the keyword with synonyms
7. Make sure that 4, 5 & 6 are also on-page
8. If the widget is from a specific widget line, country or something else well known, make sure the folder(s) describe them correctly.
For instance the url may look something like this:
9. For easier file construction make sure you are consistent with both file and image names.
For instance the image may look something like this:
10. Remember that for images to rank better you have to make it easy for the algo to understand, give it garbage and it won't have a clue what's there!
Now where do I send my consultation bill? :-)
Have you had good results with changes to an existing website?
In the mid 90s we built sites with abbreviated urls, hexadecimal image reference numbers etc. Probably because we did not have a lot of competition at that time they ranked reasonably simply because they had their respective names underneath the image and usually in the keywords attribute.
I found that very unsatisfactory however my computer guys thought it wonderful since it meant they did not have to do much work. It was whilst working as a remote Google beta algo tester during 98-99(?) that I realised that the game was fundamentally going to change and I had to fix my sites to rank well. I immediately decided to re-build all sites in CSS using the format I have described above, and using W3C suggested best practices, and even new sites still use the same method.
If you are ranking for some images now I would say you will temporarily see a reduction however this will be more than offset when you see them come back in much higher than before.
Of course it will depend on your competition and their skills however there are very few who get it right since not many people have spent time studying how to do it correctly even though it is in the W3C guidelines.
One last thing...you can construct an image page perfectly, do absolutely nothing wrong...and it still will not rank! I have yet to work out the reason for that but I ain't losing any sleep over it since 90+% work fine.