Sunday, April 19, 2009

Flickr shuns the usage of photos for SEO!

This should be bad news to all the SEO buffs, but being informative about the bad news is good news, isn’t it? Flickr, as we are aware of is the in-vogue photo sharing website. Interestingly, the usage of flickr was recommended as one of the tricks of the trade called SEO.

How did it work? Well, the point was simple. You don’t need to have a hawk’s eye to observe that youtube videos and flickr photos do prop up in search results. So, there you go? A potential chance of getting higher pageranks and web visits! This aspect of flickr was noticed by many of the SEO specialists and it soon became a vital ingredient in many of the SEO related discussions, lectures and recommendations.

This recommendation of using flickr extensively would usually go by the tagline ‘image optimization’. The steps to be followed were quite simple in nature too. All one needed to do is to open a flickr account (it’s free, so that isn’t a big deal). Next, the person needed to find out or click by himself or herself and upload unique and interesting photos to the flickr account. Again the keyword research spells its shadow here. Better headings (read keyword optimized headings) and descriptions are always beneficial. Basically, every photo that’s put up on the filckr account is its own web page- a web page with a title, a tag and a description. When the search engine scans for various websites for relevant keywords, the title, tags and description of the flickr account photos too are taken into account and thus, the photo may find itself a good position in the search results attracting good number of visitors and links. Further, the user could enhance his or her chances by linking back the photo to his or website. Sharing of these photos through social networking sites and through other relevant websites was another good way of marketing. Flickr photo submission to directories and related websites was treated like submission of HTML pages. So to say, flickr, which was supposed to be ‘personal’ platform for sharing of photos, soon went on to become a ‘business’ platform for SEO!

Great idea indeed! Unfortunately (for some), the idea won’t work anymore. Flickr has now decided to crack down the usage of its account for such business practices, a step they believe will help make flickr a cleaner place! A letter saying ‘usage of flickr for selling products or services will lead into termination of your account’ was all that many of the SEO guys got in reply when they contacted for the reason behind the sudden axing of their account! So you see, not all on the internet go easy with guidelines and terms and services. All the SEO conferences will now have no ‘image optimization’ slides and perhaps, its one count down on the number of SEO tactics until, of course, the SEO guys figure out a new method!

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