The October 6 episode of Search Off The Record is all about Image SEO. An image SEO tip that has been going around is the optimization of filenames. This particular technique has to do with the use of your target keyword or variations of it in the filename of your media files.
Do you really need to optimize your filenames? Will it help your images get ranked in search?
Lizzi Sassman asked John Mueller if being more description with filenames or using keywords, in additional to the alt text is important.
According to Mueller, they do recommend doing something with filenames in their image guidelines and having a descriptive filename is good. However, this would not be a significant change (or increase) if you already do the other optimizations in the images – like alt text and the text surrounding the images as these two are already really strong signals. The filename is more from a technical point of view and does not provide any real unique information.
However, if you don’t do alt text and the text surrounding the image, then the filename might be the only place where you mention what the image is about.
In addition, when it comes to images, they are not crawled as often. In the case you are going to update your images and optimize their filenames, this might pose an issue as it will take a lot of time for Google to recrawl them.
So if you are already optimizing your images via the alt text and surrounding text, looks like there is no need to optimize your filenames, too!
Check out the Image SEO episode of Search Off The Record here.