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The images are not referenced in the webpage itself using the typical <img src> tag, as in:
< img src="www[dot]example[dot]com/images/image_url.jpg" >
The problem is that because I did not use an <img src> tag to reference the image, Google Images will NOT index the image despite the fact that the ENTIRE URL pointing to the .jpg image was part of the html code of the webpage.
My latest attempt involves making the anchor part of the link a thumbnail image - but the thumbnail is not just a smaller version of the larger image. I use the same exact image file for the anchor, but I resize it on the the page with the HTML width and height attributes. This means that the page loads more slowly, but at least the image bot gets a direct <img src=[url]> style mark-up.
Now the bad news. So far, those images are still not indexed and it's been about 3 months. I'm almost ready to think that those smaller width and height attributes are causing the bot to skip over these images anyway!
Any other suggestions I can try? Please post them here.
[edited by: engine at 12:27 pm (utc) on Dec. 29, 2009]
[edit reason] please use example.com [/edit]
For example, along with your anchor code, also include:
<img src="images/image_url.jpg" style="visibility:hidden;" alt="my image">
Celgins, your idea is very interesting, though the image will be readily visible if CSS/style sheet is turned off. In addition, because the anchor image is a thumbnail image, BOTH the thumbnail and the large image (which is "hidden" using your method) will be displayed.
Tedster, what do you think of Celgin's trick?
If I go to Google Images and search for site:<domain name> I can see that these larger images have been indexed, usually with either the associated page or post title text beneath it depending on the area of the site that the image is found. Occasionally some images even have a snippet of the associated page/post beneath instead of the page title.
Am I missing something or is this not Google Images indexing an image from a lightbox and still maintaining the context from the page which it was found?
I am noticing that there are a couple of images where the context isn't perhaps what it should be as it was indexed from a blog listings page, for example one has the text "Showing 1 - 10 of 65 Posts". But I wonder if this couldn't be helped by making use of the title attribute in the anchor that is linking to it?
There certainly are variants in lightbox scripts. The two sites I work with that are having troubles are using a variation called slimbox. I'm glad to hear you are not having particular troubles. Google's John Mueller commented on SERoundtable [seroundtable.com] that "In general, Lightbox is not a problem."
The problem is that only the "smaller" image file is crawled and indexed by Google, not the "larger" one.
The experience reported by chip_d sounded as if these non-href linked images are also indexed. This is not what we are seeing.
Tedster, am I understanding the Mueller's comment correctly?