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Get Your Site Images Indexed faster via Updated Sitemaps Protocol

Images are important elements in any website as they can be used for various purposes such as delivering a visual attraction, relaying a specific message, used for branding or enhancing the feel of a brand. Images, in general, are used to illustrate what we are saying and it is used commonly on millions of websites to help people understand what they see or read. Without images, the Web would be a very bland experience.

That of course is great when people stumble onto your website and have the opportunity to see it, but what can you do to get your images onto the Web?

Most of you have heard of Image SEO, optimizing images by adding an alternative image desciption and by giving images keyword related filenames, etc. That is certainly the way to go, but as of yesterday, Google is making it even easier for us to inform them of the images that we think are important.

Google announced that you can now use a Sitemaps extension to provide Google with exactly this information. By using the Sitemaps extension you can, for each URL you list in your Sitemap, add additional information about important images that exist on that page. Sitemaps are an invaluable resource for search engines as it can be used to highlight important content on a site and allow search crawlers to quickly discover it.

To add your image URL’s, it won’t be required to create a new Sitemap, you just add information about images to the Sitemap you already use. Follow the instructions in the Webmaster Tools Help Center or refer to the following example:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″
xmlns:image=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1″>
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/sample.html</loc>
<image:image>
<image:loc>http://example.com/image.jpg</image:loc>
</image:image>
</url>
</urlset>

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