Google Webmaster Central announced that now site owners can provide image data to Google using their XML sitemap. You can tell Google about image properties like image location, title, license, caption etc. using the XML sitemap.  We suspect that soon automated xml sitemap generators will also incorporate this into their sitemap creation, although no plans have yet been announced.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<urlset xmlns=”http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9″
xmlns:image=”http://www.google.com/schemas/sitemap-image/1.1″>
<url>
<loc>http://example.com/sample.html</loc>
<image:image>
<image:loc>http://example.com/image.jpg</image:loc>
</image:image>
</url>
</urlset>

Image tag definitions:

TagRequiredDescription
<image:image>YesEncloses all information about a single image. Each URL (<loc> tag) can include up to 1,000 <image:image> tags.
<image:loc>YesThe URL of the image.
<image:caption>OptionalThe caption of the image.
<image:geo_location>OptionalThe geographic location of the image. For example, <image:geo_location>Limerick, Ireland</image:geo_location>.
<image:title>OptionalThe title of the image.
<image:license>OptionalA URL to the license of the image.

You can find more technical information about Google image sitemap here.

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