Optimizing Flickr for Search Engines

Ranking Your Flickr Profile Quickly and Easily

Optimizing Flickr for Search Engines

I know what you’re thinking right now after reading that headline… who uses Flickr anymore? Well, aside from bloggers and amateur photographers, anyone who keeps a close eye on what is working well in the search results is using this massive photo sharing site. Flickr is still being treated extremely well by Google and if you’re bringing quality to the table, you can tap in tons of quality traffic.

Why Indexing or Ranking Something Fast Matters

You might be asking yourself, “Well, why do I care if my content ranks or indexes quickly?” You should care because a common content marketing strategy is writing on current trending topics. For example, let’s say you’re a tech-writer – you would obviously want to be ranked 1st for your blog post on iPhone 5s the night they were released because that would be the biggest surge of traffic for that topic. If your website isn’t getting crawled enough or fast enough, sometimes it can take weeks for Google to realize you updated your website. That’s why Flickr is important and helpful to us webmasters, since it can rank high so quickly and easily it’s a great way to funnel traffic to your site for trending topics.

Ranking Your Flickr Fast and Easy

Below I will outline how you can index your Flickr account quickly with what we could call a ‘mini social signal network‘. You will learn what you will need to make a mini social network and how it works.

What You Will Need:

You need to create two accounts for this small social signals network, a Pinterest account and a Tumblr account. We use these sites because when you blog a picture it allows you to show where the source of the image which means you can link to your Flickr.

  • Pinterest – Who hasn’t heard of Pinterest by now? Pinterest exploded on to the social media scene and quickly gained notoriety for giving websites huge amounts of referral traffic. Pinterest is usually known as the murderer of Flickr but from our research Flickr is currently still treated better by Google in terms of ranking compared to Pinterest.
  • Tumblr – Tumblr has been around longer than Pinterest, but never hit the huge levels of referral traffic that Pinterest is famous for. Tumblr should not be overlooked though, and a lot of big companies take advantage of Tumblr’s awesome referral traffic and how easy it is to set up (ex. The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Search Engine Land, ect.). With Tumblr’s built in content drip system, you can plan months of content ahead of time to post automatically. That’s probably my favorite feature of Tumblr.

What You Are Doing:

What you’re doing is actually pretty simple. You’re taking the photo, tag, or set URL from your Flickr profile and posting it to Tumblr and Pinterest’s photo section. This is creating a social signal to your Flickr photos. If you’re smart, you’ll expand this to all your content marketing and try to find even more sites like Pinterest or Tumblr to post these photos (to throw another one out, Stumbleupon is a great profile to have that allows you to source content). Social signals like the one we made from the steps above took the place of pinging in the Internet Marketing realm, and they will most likely keep getting strong and stronger in Google’s algorithm. While many sites like WordPress still utilize pinging in their posts, I do not believe it actually does much to helping your content get indexed.

How to Get Social Signals

Click the image to learn more about the process.

Why Social Signals are Doing Great While Pinging Suffers

I was originally going to save this segment for another blog post, but it is so relevant to ranking a Flickr profile that it can’t be left out. The same people that are still pinging their backlinks are the ones who think keyword stuffing META keywords is a valid SEO practice.

Some of the newbies might be asking, “What’s pinging?” Pinging used to be a common practice utilized by (most of the time) black hat linkbuilders. To put it simply, pinging is like saying to Google crawlers “Hey, this is new/updated!” While its purpose was to alert Google of your site’s new content, it was soon taken over by black hats and they were pinging their low quality backlinks. Since this whole system of pinging backlinks or new content on your site was so abused by undesirable sites, it appears that Google has completely stopped paying attention to them or gives them very little value over other factors. Using social signals (e.g., re-tweets on Twitter or shares on Facebook), on the other hand, appears to offer similar results to what pinging used to provide and it’s much harder to abuse compared to pinging.

Three Additional Things You Can Do to Optimize Flickr

Here are three tips that you can apply easily that will make your Flickr show up more often for search results and bring more traffic to your website.

1.) Fill out that profile!

No one wants to look at a boring profile, or worse, one that is not filled out at all. Taking the time to think of good copy and making your Flickr profile entertaining to read can do wonders for how people interact with it. This is also a good chance to optimize your profile for branded keywords that show up for even more search queries. In the description section of my Flickr profile I also link out to my other social media sites for branding purposes and to increase their rank along with my Flickr’s, which brings me to my next tip.

2.) Connecting Networks

Linking your profiles or pages from sites like Facebook or Google+ to your Flickr is a wise idea and can help Google by showing it where it can find you or your brand on the web. This is also another quality backlink pointing at your Flickr that can make it show up for more search results.

mcdougall social flickr

McDougall Interactive’s Flickr Album on our Google+ Page.

3.) Share

This ties into what I am saying above about connecting your social media networks… and it’s easy, too. Just make sure to share your Flickr profile as often as possible. Simply tweeting “Hey, check out my Flickr” is often enough to get some great traffic to it and hopefully funnel that to your website.

Read more Flickr SEO tips.

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