What is Image Sitemap?
You have a website with images.The images are attached to web pages.Each page on your website have a unique URL.Every image on your webpage also have unique URL.You should make search engines aware about your page and images.
For this purpose you create list of your pages and images you have on pages.Since URL are used to identify content you have to include URL of your pages in the list.Now lets say you have one page with two images.Then you need to include URL of your page and your images in the list.
You also have to inform search engines that these two images are part of the page.This list is known as image sitemap.
Does your site needs image sitemap?
This post is about image sitemap and my plugin for WordPress.But I will not say you to just download it and install.Rather you should first check whether your website needs image sitemap.There is no point installing one more plugin for sack of it.
Image sitemap is required if your plan includes one of below points
- you have images for Google Image Search and Bing Image search keywords and you are expecting traffic from these searches
- you have image centralized posts on your blog
- you have lots of images on your website
Why is image sitemap important for your blog?
Google image search (Bing image search as well) might be outperforming Google web search traffic for your website for some keywords.Usually people do not give much importance to image search and focus lot more to web search.
XML sitemap for content (or sitemaps in general) help you rank better (or better discovery of your content).Similarly image sitemap helps your image search ranking.You can check performance of your website in different Google property using Google Analytics for more detail read this post.
This site gets healthy amount of traffic from Google Image search.I discovered this fact few months back.So if you want to rank better in image search then use image sitemap.
Udinra Image Sitemap plugin
Udinra Image Sitemap is best WordPress Image Sitemap plugin.It automates the process of sitemap generation and pinging the search engine giants like Google, Bing, Ask.com.There are couple other image sitemap generation plugins but this plugin stands out.Below is feature list and comparison with other plugins
Features and Comparison
- Pings Google,Bing and Ask.com — This plugin pings Google,Bing and Ask.com automatically.You can configure this feature.You can also select which if the three should be pinged.But it is recommended to ping all three of them.No other image sitemap comes with this feature.You will be informed about the ping status.
- Creates Image Sitemap automatically — It creates image sitemap automatically if you publish either page or post containing image.This feature is absent in some of the image sitemap plugins currently.You can also control and switch off this feature.
- Supports Featured Images — The sitemap contains featured images which are not part of post content.This is absent in some of image sitemap plugins currently.
- Creates all major Image sitemap tags — It creates all major image sitemap tags like image title,image caption,image location defined by Google Image sitemap standards.Some image sitemap plugins do not create sitemaps using all three tags.
- gzip version — Creates gziped version of the image sitemap.This makes your sitemap size small.Pings gzipped version to search engines if created.
- Readable image sitemap — XSL makes your image sitemap easily viewable and also gives you count of posts and images.
- Fast and Simple — It is very fast.The plugin is re written and optimized for performance.The interface is simple and information.The query and code is optimized for less server resource usage.The MySQL database query is written to fetch the information needed (optimal query so less database load,good feature for shared hosting websites).
Follow the same steps as other plugins.
- Download it from WordPress Download Udinra Image sitemap plugin
- Extract the zip file in wp-content –> plugins folder.
- Activate it from WordPress Dashboard.
- Create a sitemap-image.xml file in your WordPress root directory.Make the file writable (644) file permissions.
- If you want to create gziped version of your sitemap then create sitemap-image.xml.gz file in your WordPress root directory.Make the file writable (644) file permissions.
- You can also install it from WordPress dashboard by searching Udinra All Image Sitemap ( Plugins –> Add New)
Should I use Image sitemap?
Already answered above.
Should I ping Google and Bing?
Yes you should ping Google and Ping.It is very important to make them aware of your fresh contents.So I would suggest you to check all the three check boxes (in plugin configuration section there are check boxes for pinging Google,Bing and Ask.com). The plugin will take care of rest.
How to create blank sitemap-image.xml file?
Log into your Cpanel account and go to File Manager option of Cpanel.Browse to your WordPress root directory.Click on create new file and name the file as sitemap-image.xml.Make the file writable.You can make it writable by changing permission of the file.The permissions to use depends from server to server you can use 600 and if it does not work then use 660 (but never use 666).
Which Google image sitemap tags are supported?
Image location,Image title,Image caption are currently supported.
The plugin is stable and bug free.
You can use comment form below for any new feature requests or bug fixes.
You can visit http://udinra.com/sitemap-image.xml to see the image sitemap generated using this plugin.
Parameter to control automatic generation of sitemap.XSL support makes the sitemap human readable and you also get count of posts and images.
Create gziped version of your image sitemap.This helps in decreasing sitemap file size.You can submit this sitemap to search engines.
Udinra image sitemap pro
The pro version of plugin is in process.It will be available shortly for download so stay tuned.