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How To Tell Google Which Image Is The Main Image?

     
2:31 pm on Nov 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Hi there, Everyone:

Is there a tag of some kind that goes in the head content (or somewhere else) to tell google which is the main image of a web page (for an ecommerce product page)?

Our site just started using a javascript / css method of displaying images (so that it can enlarge images easily). The thing is, where it used to display the "main" image, it now displays a blank .gif file, and the other images are superimposed upon it, depending on what the user clicks.

(Hence, I can't put a tag in the img tag because it would tell google that the blank.gif file is the main image.)

So I would like to make it as simple as possible for google to know which image is the main image.

Thanks in advance.
6:01 am on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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I wish I had an answer for this particular quandry because I'm now working with two sites that have a similar problem. If you're scripts are anything like the ones I'm struggling with, it's only within the .js file that the actual filename is determined - and I don't think Google is anywhere near able to sort this out right now.

With all the clever JavaScript libraries that are now available, it's much too easy to create functionality that's impenetrable to search engine indexing. I'm thinking it might take a supplemental section with links to all the images so the crawler has a clear path... and the client is not going to go for that.
1:42 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It would be kind of logical for Google to look for the <link rel="image_src" ... tag I would have thought.
7:00 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It would be kind of logical for Google to look for the <link rel="image_src" ...


I'm glad that you broght that up.

Although it might not help google, it looks like it would help with facebook sharing.

Hoe there is a solution for google though.
7:46 pm on Nov 5, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Well, one ray of hope is that google uses Open graph tags for the +1 button snippets, so possibly they will also use that for other properties?


If the page contains Open Graph properties for the title, image, and description, then they will be used for the +Snippet.


Read Further At:

[developers.google.com...]
3:26 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Does google use schema.org tags at all?
3:43 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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In principle schema.org ought to solve this problem, I don't know whether that works in practice yet.

With all the clever JavaScript libraries that are now available, it's much too easy to create functionality that's impenetrable to search engine indexing


That's true, however it also ought to be possible to use the same clever libraries to implement the same functionality in a way that's clear to search engines.

In this example, why not put all of the images in img tags somewhere on the page, then use JS to set them to display:none? That way they're already in the browser cache when you use JS to display them on click, and they'll be indexed as well.
5:01 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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..Although it might not help google, it looks like it would help with facebook sharing.


It does - that's why I use it :) But it would make life easier if Google tagged long!
5:03 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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It would be kind of logical for Google to look for the <link rel="image_src" ... tag I would have thought.


defenitely Facebook obeyes that image and always displays it, unfortunately Google + for example doesnt look at it at all...
10:41 pm on Nov 7, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@freejung:

in this example, why not put all of the images in img tags somewhere on the page, then use JS to set them to display:none? That way they're already in the browser cache when you use JS to display them on click, and they'll be indexed as well.


Unfortunately it is part of an ecommerce package and I can't change that code in there.
3:55 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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Ah. Well, in that case the only suggestion I have is to try not to get yourself into a position where you can't control your own code -- but sometimes it's unavoidable for business reasons, it happens to me sometimes too.

OK, you can't change the code within the package, but can you add additional JS to the page? If so you might still be able to hack something together.
11:21 pm on Nov 8, 2011 (gmt 0)

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@ freejung:

well, got in touch with the developers and in my case, there is a hack that they gave me and which I have implemented. So in MY case, it should be resolved.

However, there MUST be others out there that have this problem. I would hope that google would have some way of incorporating different tags into their ranking algo.