Google indexes pictures all wrong. Here at ongoing, I used to store all my own pictures with nice names I invented on the spur of the moment. Sometime last year, I realized my cameras were thoughtfully giving each shot a nice guaranteed-unique name, so I just started using that; for example, that slug is in a file named IMG_2663.jpg. But, I’m careful to always supply an appropriate alt text, like so: <img alt='Vancouver slug' src='IMG_2663.png' />. It turns out that Google pretty much ignores the alt text, which is irritating, so you’ll find my roses and prairiescapes and Foo Campers in Google only with a lot of effort. What’s really weird is that Google does put a lot of weight on the actual file-name. The reason I noticed this is that in any given week, the most popular image on ongoing is the picture of Diablo found here, apparently because it’s in a file called diablo.jpg. But you know, there are lots of pictures of Diablo out there, and not that many of the chapels at Brussels Airport. So, Google could do a lot better here. [Note: I’m talking about Google image search here, not regular search. It’s still broken.]

author · Dad · software · colophon · rights
picture of the day
September 24, 2004
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