Squeezing PageRank from Photos & Images

by Chris Silver Smith

I’ve written a number of times about how one can leverage images to get more promotional value and links. Here’s another example today, from a blog post on 1800RECYCLING.com: Ten Recycled Ship Houses.

Boat House - assembled from parts of a ship

The writer of this post contacted me a while back to get permission to use one of my photos (of a house made out of a ship) I took a few years ago on Catalina Island since the pic happened to match up with their article’s theme.

I love helping out with projects like this whenever I can, in return for links!

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve provided images in return for links for news websites, blogs and more. To me, that longterm link value is equivalent, or better than a mere transitory image licensing fee. It’s a gift that keeps giving — a promotional mechanism that continues to send traffic and PageRank value into the future. Exacting a fee in many cases would result in no deal whatsoever, too, since more and more people find good pictures from free sources.

What’s more, many people see a whole lot of compelling things from day to day. Start snapping photos and saving them to your Flickr account or other photo-sharing service as a habit, and you could also happen into owning some content that people might want to publish.

More brief tips for leveraging photo images for links/promotion:

  • Flickr enables findability – sharing your photos in a few online services helps people who are researching for pictures to use to find your content.
  • Make contacting you easy – pay attention to your Flickr mail and also make your contact information easy to find on the sites where you display photos.
  • Provide simple licensing – if you make using your photos dependent upon burdensome requirements, it will make working with you and using your images just not worth the hassle.

I think the types of blog articles that 1800RECYCLING.com are doing are also worthy of mention from an online marketing standpoint. Recycling can be something of a dry subject, but if you approach it right you can create articles that are fascinating to people and will draw attention, links, and overall worth for your site.

1800RECYCLING.com has the right idea — here’s a few tips for making compelling blog posts like theirs:

  • Themed posts – creating an article based on a certain theme can allow you to pull in a variety of examples from different sources, and give a high-level take on the theme which people will want to read about.
  • Eyecandy – displaying a number of pictures to exemplify your theme will really make it interesting to look at. For many of us in the fast-food culture of the internet, we may only have a few minutes to scan over a blog post or article, much like flipping through a magazine at a hair stylist’s shop. This is what makes it compelling enough that we might want to show it to our friends.
  • Link generously – Google actually likes it when you link out to contextually-relevant stuff, so don’t be stingy with your links. This also can make it that much more useful to people reading your article.
  • Enable sharing – making the article very easy to share on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, etc will help your readers help you achieve some viral distribution. Make it easy by providing the Social Media “chicklets” or sharing buttons near the top or bottom of the posting!

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