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SEO China 101

David DeGeest

Generally for an SEO Tutorial I would begin with a post on tags and titles. But, after reviewing some of the sites that expressed an interest in this SEO series I opted to start with image tweaking for more traffic. Since I have given myself a year to tell you all I think know about SEO, I will get it all in and the whole picture will come to you in a big intutive flash at the end. Note: Never expect a poet to be a linear thinker. The lights haven’t been on over the left side of my brain for years now. But, I digress….

This series will begin with extremely basic material and move to more sophisticated information. The date will become more and more China-centric as we go…I hope even the seasoned pro can get a little something out of this….And I am very up for learning from the likes of Fili who keeps very current on all aspects of SEO in China….

Over the last six months with the use of proper tagging of my photos my traffic has increased by 34% due to image searches.


Generating traffic solely from keywords has become more and more difficult. The term “China Blog” on Google yields 243,000,000 returns! In contrast there are only 152,000 image results returned for the same keyword. Most blogger/webmasters just do not take the time to properly optimize their pictures, so you should!

Much of the traffic you will get probably will not sign up for your feed or take time to comment, but they will score as a hit for the search engines and improve your ranking. And some of the visual travellers might just take a liking to what they see in addition to the image and hang around for a bit. I receive hundreds of visitors a week because of image searches done on Google and Yahoo!.

Image optimization is easy to do properly and is standard practice for serious SEO professionals. Search engine (MSN, Yahoo!, Google, AOL…) targeted image references should contain these 5 items:

A src The URL of the image
A width The width of the image in pixels
A height The height of the image in pixels
An alt attribute that describes image content
alt titles that display information for browsers when the user places a mouse cursor over the image

I had some fun optimizing an image this last week to demonstrate the power of tags. I attempted to get an an unrelated image to display in any of the engines for my colleague David DeGeest. Here is the picture again:
David DeGeest

Aside: At this point you all are aware that it is not a good idea to anger your SEO guy, right? Instead, buy him Coffee Cola to keep him working for you into the wee hours….

Here is the way the text appears in XHTML: <img src=”” alt=”David DeGeest” title=”Esl Teacher David De Geest” /

You can see how we did (using a pretty low ranked site) here: David DeGeest

The “title” tag is probably the least important of the additions above while the “alt” tag is essential to Search Engine rankings. Sites low in content on the main page can use the alt tags to carry keywords to the engines.

Be sure to make the tags descriptive. I keep my tags true to the nature of the picture, but you do not have to. To use a creative term that is related to the picture, and may bring in more traffic, is certainly your option. “Cute Chinese Chicks” for a picture of Easter hatchlings might be a stretch, funny, but….

Anyone primarily looking to monetize their site (and I am NOT one of them so there are few examples on site to show you ) should make sure that Google adwords and other algorithm driven ads are placed close to where the images will appear. The people coming to see the picture might not hang around, but they may see a product they want to buy that is related.

China Business,China web 2.0,Greater Asia Blogs,Internet marketing China,Seach engine Optimization,Search Engine Marketing,SEM,SEO,Seo China,The Internet,Top Blogs,中国

7 responses so far

7 Responses to “SEO China 101”

  1. Cazzieon Mar 24th 2007 at 1:00 pm

    Hey hey, just found your comment.

    An exchange of links sounds like a good idea to me. =)

  2. Alexon Mar 24th 2007 at 2:40 pm

    An unexpected start. Keep people baited and don’t give them what they expect – you’re not only a SEO expert 😉

    I’m more into technical points, from ping speeds to regulations. Western SEO has been covered extensively (but not absolutely) so this is an interesting resource regarding China SEO (as is Rick’s re-focused

    Here’s a question/request – what about URL optimisation for Chinese language URLs (.CNs, recently .BIZs and in about a year’s time .COM/.NET/.ORGs) that get Punycoded?

  3. Lonnieon Mar 25th 2007 at 3:42 am

    Thanks Alex…

    btw: I added a section to to my blogroll that says “Chinese SEO” so that people can find more geeky info’ when they are ready…

    It is a tough thing.I want to help the newcomer and the old hand: I see dozens of deserving sites that are not getting the traffic they need simply because they make those mistakes that many of us take for granted…I have IT students daily come to me to show off their new design companies and webistes yet they remain clueless about things as simple as meta-tags…

    With the Olympics coming there will be huge interest in pic’s of China…And 60% of China Blogs I visit are not adding tags….So, I threw this one in….It is not a tease…

    Later, I will drop several closely held techniques–and not to build readership as most of you were already here–for the geeks amongst us….Actually, I am only an honorary geek….

    I looked at your new unranked site, and its eight Google indexed pages, and saw a dozen simple things you could do in your tags to get better ranking…I have been doing Taekwondo for 30 years and still return to the absolute basics of punching and kicking as foundations for anything more complex…Back to basics eould not hurt you…

    I am going to talk about description and title tags specific to Chinese language and Chinese searches next week….No tease, just fact…

    I think character coded sites ( I use a couple) and Punycodes ( are a great idea if you hope to reach INSIDE of a market…They are a long way away from being standard and usable…I only use Chinese character encoded URLs as re-directs for customers…. Thanks for YOUR ARTICLE ON THIS TOO: Here

    I have owned a couple of .cn domains and also used them only as re-directs– via a Chinese splash page –to my American based server site…The government licensing, tight-fisted webmasters,poor control panels in Chinese portals and ever morphing regulations are just too cumbersome right now…I use them to pull people in with Chinese keywords and they are useful to me and clients looking to market to a huge Chinese population not comfortable with Pinyin ( I have found that 40% of people in Guangdong and Taiwan are clueless about Pinyin) or Chinese that would feel more comfortable in a fully Chinese Internet environment…

    I hope it becomes easier than this: to ID a site and its locale….

    More later…..

  4. adminon Mar 25th 2007 at 3:52 am

    Cazzie: Done….

  5. Pandapassporton Mar 25th 2007 at 5:06 pm

    I’m surprised you get so much traffic via image searches. But your strategy does make sense. Naming pictures things like china-olympics-2008-beijing.jpg seems wise, and adding alt info even better.

    I just re-did my site and tried to make it a bit sharper, seo-wise. I try to get images in whenever I can. Permalinks option in wordpress is on, with categories showing in urls as well. Keywords are being handled by a plugin.

    SEO is great. And very interesting. That said, I don’t want to pay too much mind to it.
    Because in the end, when all is said and done, it seems good solid content/copy is more important. And sometimes I forget that.

  6. adminon Mar 26th 2007 at 2:02 am

    You are 100% right…

    China Law Blog ( ) is not a PR6 because they use tricks it is because they have great content…

    I am going to look at a post on SEO wordpress plug-ins soon…It is nice to have that stuff auto-generated so you can concentrate on content isn’t it?

    I love your site, always have…..


  7. Pandapassporton Mar 26th 2007 at 6:27 am

    WP plugins are pretty cool. The one’s that I’m presently using that is most directly related to SEO is Ultimate Tag Warrior.

    It gives you an option to list tags for each post, which then can (if you choose that option) be used for many functions:
    1. Meta keyword tags for that post.
    2. Include them in, or at the end of the post.
    3. Tags in your feed.
    4. Tags in your url.

    Xfish meta is a cool plugin too, which allows for keywords and description for each post.

    I don’t know much about SEO, kinda new to all this stuff. But experimenting is fun. I usually just watch what Ryan does. :)

    Keep up the good work Lonnie!

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