‘Baking’ Text Into JPGs & PNGs – Never Ever Do This!
Images and text online are the basic building blocks of any website or web service. Think about it hit Ctrl and A and select all within any web page you like, its you guessed it a heap of text and images.
In some cases and generally where folks are cutting corners they combined the two. Up until this point this was a tabs vs spaces things for me. But now for SEO this is a 100% rule. And here’s why:
Images are Images, adding text to them will create
- A large bloated file.
- Terrible Aliasing of the text.
- A generally nasty looking image, that will never scale.
Icons Now Should be a Font
- Raster formats like JPG and PNG are meant for images, photos etc. never use GIF and in most cases no icons should be used unless a glyph icon like FontAwesome.
- Look a beer, this is a scale-able icon font –
Vectors exist now in stable web formats:
- SVG, dont forget that, its the only place where in theory images and text can live happily and be scanned by a search engine, its not clear what within an SVG can be scanned or is indexed at present, but its highly likely and more importantly possible.
Images with Baked in Text
This is a positive case or example as one of my clients has great results, with their blog posts appearing in Google’s newer more visual style SERP listing.
But, with this older technique of layering images within text and messaging, you can see what happens. Images now syndicate, when shared on Social media or more importantly when indexed within Google or now when stored on Google’s AMP index.
Perfect Images – With a Central Focus
When done correctly your blog’s images will always scale well, and as a result of this will be more likely to appear in search.
By focusing on the images as a messaging device too you can be sure they do the same job in every medium. Focusing on size and aspect ratio can really help.
When folks ask is an Image responsive, this is the real test. Not only will it work on your site, but will it work if shared on social or indexed by Google and displayed on any device.
Links & Further Reading
Some of the things I mentioned in this post are better understood if you checkout the following links. All third party, handy links and some good info on the recent changes and advancements in web images and fonts.