My picture is outranking my article!

Last Update: June 20, 2016

So I've been trying to rank one of my articles to page 1 of google and today I just googled the article 'How to stop being shy and quiet' and discovered it has indeed ranked #1!

BUT

When I clicked on it the page that actually ranked #1 was one of my pictures FROM that article and not my article itself...What the hell? How did my picture outrank my article? I went through the pages and couldn't find my actual article in sight. My picture's alt tag and picture name is the same as my article title so I get why it is getting rankings but I am very surprised and a little upset that it is outranking my actual article and I can't find my article in the google search either - It must have very low rankings? But my picture has high rankings? Doesn't make sense to me.

Has this ever happened to anyone?


EDIT: Also, in my actual article I deleted the link that my picture used to go to a while ago. Apparently it still exists?

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
chuka Premium
To be noticed by Google in this way is a good thing. Whichever way you look at it, you are a winner - something good from your website is ranking :)
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
That is true, but i'm afraid nobody will be looking at my content. Once they click that link they will see just a picture and will likely leave.
Reply
The-Fran Premium
Is it the image attachment page that is ranking?
Or is it the .jpg page, with only the image and nothing but the image?

If it's the image attachment page, all is not lost, if you have at least a decent top navigation, and even better a sidebar. Then there should be plenty more to interest them.

But if it's the image file showing (ending in .jpg), this is another situation.

--Fran
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
Its not the .jpg its the image attachment page. Its still my site but it just shows the image instead of the content.

http://impenetrableconfidence.com/how-to-stop-being-shy-and-quiet/how-to-stop-being-shy-and-quiet-2
Reply
The-Fran Premium
Thanks for the link. That's helpful, Matt.

Maybe this page just has a higher keyword density, and since it was discovered in the sitemap, Google is currently liking it.

It is nicely marked up as a rich snippet (I suspect your main article is too, though.) Good job! What is your theme? Or are you using a plugin for the meta data markup (from schema.org/i.e., rich snippets)?

--Fran
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
RIch snippet? I don't even know what that is haha. My theme is the Eleven40 Pro theme. I guess it may have made a rich snippet without my knowledge. How can you tell?
Reply
The-Fran Premium
LOL, I know... all of this terminology. Funny. All in One SEO or Yoast might have added it, if you checked it in the plugin's settings. Check out this WA blog for links to live training on Rich Snippets: In a nutshell: All search engines like pages that have an organization and hierarchy, because search engines are just smart software, after all. HTML markup can give them that with header tags (like h1, h2, h3) and section tags (new in HTML5). Beyond that, there is what's called "microdata" format. This is documented on http://schema.org. Microdata formats can be very specific to certain industries or topics. For instance the recipe microdata format is very popular.

Fortunately there are plugins (and maybe some themes) that do all of the markup for you, as long as you check a setting in their options. I'm guessing you have one of these SEO conscious plugins like Yoast or All in One SEO.

Bottom line is it's a very good thing, and a smart option to say "yes" to; because it's easier for search engines to identify what your site is about and with whom to associate it.

--Fran

p.s. I use my browser's developer tools, and look at the rendered page that way, while I'm on the page. I noticed your rich snippets there.

I've attached a screenshot of the "article" tag for the attachment page. Look at the 'itemtype" attribute pointing to schema.org, inside the article tag. Also notice all of the "itemprop" attributes in the "entry-meta" paragraph and its child "span" tags. Again see it on on the "entry-content" division tag below that. These are all rich snippet indicators.

You may need to download the image to your computer, with the little icon (bottom right), and open it there, to see the details.
Reply
JudeP Premium
From what I have recently learned, this is why Google likes the tags on pictures and it is possible to rank just for a picture :)
Reply
The-Fran Premium
Not sure why that happened, other than Google may like visuals more than we know.

I just read something by a WA member recently who said that Google doesn't like WP image attachment pages. So your result is interesting, because it would seem the opposite.

Were you logged into Google when you did your search? If so, log out, try and delete your cookies. Then search in incognito or private mode. Are you getting the same results?

In response to your "EDIT" question, the attachment page may still appear in your xml site map.
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
I opened an incognito tab and I found the same page at the end of page 2. But its still just the picture.
Reply
The-Fran Premium
Okay, just wanted to make sure on that front (that they were not showing you something because you were logged in).

Is the attachment page listed in your site map?
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
I just checked, looks like it is on my sitemap. But I won't delete it, it seems to be getting me traffic :P
Reply
The-Fran Premium
Ah! Good to know. As I mentioned below @chuka's thread, here, if you have decent top navigation on the attachment page, and/or a sidebar, then you could get interaction from those links.

Keep an eye on your bounce rate for that page in your Google Webmaster Tools (i.e. Search console).

One other thing, check your inbound links and see if any go to that image or image attachment page. It's possible that someone pinned it or linked to it from their blog. In fact, inbound links like that could in part account for its search engine ranking position. (Note: I just checked it in Moz Open Site Explorer, and it has not as of yet picked up any external links to the attachment. So we can probably safely discount at least this theory as a reason for your ranking.)

--Fran
Reply
MatTaNg Premium
Ah okay, thanks for the advice Fran. I haven't looked at my webmaster tools so I'm not sure if I am even getting traffic at all yet - Its my first page that ranked recently so it is certainly exciting :)
Reply
Top