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Image Search SMX West 2009 Case Study Image Search Facts Image Search Volume comScore numbers say that 7+% of all searches take place in image search engines. Other industry figures have suggested the total image search volume is about 15% of all search

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Image Search

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Image search l.jpg

Image Search

SMX West 2009 Case Study

Image search facts l.jpg

Image Search Facts

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Image Search Volume

  • comScore numbers say that 7+% of all searches take place in image search engines.

  • Other industry figures have suggested the total image search volume is about 15% of all search

  • Difference is a lot of image search queries take place within web search

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Original Eye Tracking Study

Source: Enquiro


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Blended Search Eye Tracking

Source: Enquiro


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VisualDX HealthCase Study

Visualdx health l.jpg

VisualDx Health

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Pictures of Skin Diseases

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Images Tell a Story

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Quick Tip

  • Don’t look at this site just after lunch …

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Basic Site Value Proposition

  • The images themselves

  • Learn about what disease you may have

  • Be better informed when you go to the doctor

  • Ask better questions

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The Problem

May 2007 Basic Stats

Image Search not a factor in site traffic

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3 Optimization Steps

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Eliminated URL Parameters

  • Site used parameters on URLs

  • Typical URL:,1249,1271, 1248,23517,1247,1246

  • Parameters identify which images to show

  • This one is for adult, male, poison ivy

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Example Image Set

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Example Image Set 2

The same HTML page with different parameters

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URL Parameters (cont’d)

  • The underlying page: /adult/poisonIvyDermatitis.htm

    was referenced on site with many different sets of parameters

  • Purpose was to show different image sets based on Male/Female/Child selections

  • Led to massive duplicate content

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  • Moved image identification process to cookies

  • Parameters no longer needed

  • Each HTML page represented by one URL

  • Dupe Content Eliminated

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Added Alt Attributes

  • Before: <img src=“/images/dx/webAdult/acneVulgaris_928_sm.jpg”>

  • After: <img src=“/images/dx/webAdult/acneVulgaris_928_sm.jpg” alt=“Picture of Acne (Acne Vulgaris) on the forehead”>

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Enabled Enhanced Image Search

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Improvement – Stage 1

Oct 2007 Basic Stats

Image Search now IS a factor in site traffic

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What We Saw Next

On December 3rd, the site was not restricted by

Google SafeSearch

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SafeSearch Policies

  • You can get them here:

  • Key facts:

    • Google filters pornography and explicit images

    • VisualDx Health does have some explicit pictures

    • Google provides an appeal process

    • Appeal URL is in Google Webmaster Help:

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Tailoring the Message

  • State the problem clearly

  • Be direct

  • Don’t complain

  • Keep the message as short as you possibly can

  • Be sure you are OK with someone looking at your site

  • We sent our request in on December 12th

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Improvement – Stage 2

Jan 2008 Basic Stats

Image Search now is a BIG factor in site traffic

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Image Visits

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Image Visits as % of Total Visits

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Thank You!

Eric Enge


Stone Temple Consulting

(508) 485-7751

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