Hiding images from Google Search

Why would you ever want to hide an image from Google?

For a long time, I had trouble figuring out why my upselling tool for Zen Cart called Checkout Candy was garnering so many hits in comparison to sales.  Then one day I was looking at Google Images, and for some reason, I did a search for “candy.”  Here’s what I saw:

candy search in Google Images

Checkout Candy was the third page.  This was drawing people who wanted “candy,” not “Zen Cart Software.”  In fact, a few of them who were not native speakers of english wrote to me to ask how they could buy some candy from me.  LOL!

Obviously this is not valuable traffic, and it distorts your statistics, so you want to eliminate it.  Fortunately, you can use the robots.txt file to stop the Googlebot from looking at this image.   It’s very simple: if the image you want to block is called candy.jpg, you do

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /candy.jpg

Google Analystics helps you find problems like this with your site.  It also explains this email. 🙂

Searching Shopping-Cart-Reviews.com

I’ve been a big fan of the site Shopping-Cart-Reviews.com for some time now, and have blogged about it and recommended it to people looking for particular cart features. So I was quite impressed when Mark, the site owner, told me he had added Google custom search to the site so you can do a site search.  An easy to use search that returns a lot of relevant hits – sweet!

I’m particularly pleased to report that a search for “Zen Cart” returns a whole lot of links to That Software Guy. 🙂

Powerset and other search mechanisms

Well, I was hoping to be able to say

The nice guys over at powerset.com have let me sneak a peek at their new search engine.

… but I’m waiting 🙁 like everyone else. For now, you have to be satisfied with their remarks from TechCrunch.

In the meantime, Entrepreneur.com has an interesting article about other search utilities.

Yield Software brings SAAS to the SEO space

Yield Software is a startup that has developed software which automates the process of SEO. I think this idea has legs.  Vice President of Sales Jon S. Siegel has invited me to be a late beta customer, which I’m very excited about.  I’ll blog the test results once this is complete.

You can read an overview of Yield’s service on the Information Week blog.