Hey guys! I wanted to go into detail about the importance of images, mostly the importance of naming and licensing images as stated within the wiki's image policy. I know most people's first reaction would be "Ugh, more pointless work." or "Why does it matter? Most people won't see it anyway." but I hope by the end of this blog the reasoning will help you understand just how important these practices are for the reader and the wiki.
Why Are Images Important?
Studies have show that articles with properly tagged images with descriptive naming tend to rank higher in search engines than pages without, leading to more readers viewing content. Images also add to the readability of an article as many individuals find reading a wall of continuous text either boring or intimidating.
Why Give Images Descriptive Names?
Ignoring the fact that image policy requires such, descriptive file naming offers many benefits to the wiki. Search bots, or web crawlers, can't understand an image by itself. You can upload an image of Alvin, but a search engine will not know that the file is an image of Alvin, even more so if the file name is File:IMG 414.jpg or any other combination of generic character combinations (ie. File:vlcsnap-2012-06-08-16h59m36s140.png). Here is where file names come in (along with image descriptions in the next section). Searching Alvin's Harmonica on Google lists two of our images as the first results. Instances such as this wouldn't be possible without descriptive file naming.
The descriptions section of the file page (which contains licensing and copyright information) provides keyword content and appears in the browser's search results as the short description that appears beneath the link. A file name can't always be descriptive enough, but adding the Fair use rationale template correctly offers additional information a bot can use to identify the image, even if the image name doesn't match what was searched (ie. Albrittina, the first image is from Albrittina, based off the file description, yet the file name is File:Pink Heart Alvin.png). This type of description kills two birds with one stone: licensing and image summary.
Users and search crawlers find images with descriptive names and appropriate summaries in much higher frequency than those with generic names and no summary. The more likely web crawlers find our images and can understand them fully, the more users will discover them and visit the wiki where we spend so much time writing content for the fandom. Hopefully this blog has encouraged you to think twice about only uploading images with a name that makes sense to the image, even if the image wasn't there. Ignoring file names hurts the wiki, and as a hardworking, passionate fan (among others), I only wish to see the best become of Munkapedia.
There are still many poorly named files on the wiki, but each week that number shrinks. Please help by not adding to that number. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to start a discussion in the comments below!
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