Having looked at all of the different text-based content types that can have an impact on the tangible value of a web-page, it is time to look at how it is that some of the more sophisticated content types can have a major impact on the worth of a website. Specifically, it is important to have a valuation framework in place for determining the worth of images, videos, and animated functionality on a page.
While all of these content-types provide a great deal of tangible value to a web-page in the way that they increase its complexity and ability to engage incoming traffic, it is important to remember that search engines still do not have sophisticated mechanisms in place for breaking down media-based content into keyword indexes. Because of this caveat, we must be careful to differentiate between the tangible value of media content, and the intangible benefits that come with it.
The first step to valuing images or videos as content is to determine whether it is value-adding or value enhancing. This can be determined by asking ourselves if the media serves as the focal point of the given page, or if it is secondary to a greater article. For example, an article with an embedded within it is still an article. It simply has an image embedded to support the quality of the article. This would be as opposed to a page that consists of one large image (such as an info-graphic) that acts as the main focal-point of the page, and draws a majority of the user’s attention.
In this latter situation, the image would be of much greater worth than the embedded image, simply because of the way in which it serves as a much more valuable contributing factor to the worth of the overall asset. However, because the larger image itself will only be indexed on the basis of its title, alternative text, and caption tags, it is important to remember that the value of this media will be restricted by its contextual relevance. Essentially, the search engines will barely notice it for what it’s worth unless we can make sure that there is some sort of text on the page that is referencing the kind of information it is communicating.
Similarly to the issue of the image not being properly recognized by search engines for its true informational worth, videos are arguably undervalued by search engines. While videos are certainly recognized as improving the quality of the content being provided, they are not necessarily weighted for the kind of information that is being communicated within them, because there is no way to as of yet break down and analyze what is going on within the media itself.
As such, it is important for us to have structured in some sort of contextually relevant text to explain what is going on in the video. Ever notice how it is that music videos on video sites include the full lyrics of the song in the description box? This is exactly what they are trying to accomplish. With that in mind, the next article will describe how it is that we can measure the worth of a piece of rich-media in accordance to its contexts on the page itself.