By now, search engines have become so ubiquitous, so powerful, so reliable and so integrated into all of our online lives that weve pretty much stopped thinking about them.
Need to find something? Just type your search into your browsers search bar and boom! There you are—generally speaking.
But we often forget that theyre so useful and so effective because they search text. And text has enough limited parameters —the alphabet, the words themselves, the grammar that holds them all together—that it can be processed relatively easily by computers.
Written language is made up of an agreed-upon system of symbols and computers can deal with those symbols.
But what about multimedia content? As PCs have become more powerful over the years, producing (and publishing) stuff other than text has become a lot easier and more economical.
Today all you need is a combination of Macromedias and Adobes suite of products and youve as much publishing, editing and media manipulating power on your desktop as a whole commercial studio of a mere 20 years ago. Maybe more.
Theres a lot more multimedia content being produced today than ever before. And just as weve learned how important it is for search engines to find our text, its becoming more and more apparent that we need to learn how to deal with images and video so that our users (or potential users) can find the content were putting up.
Still images are one thing—judicious use of ALT tags is pretty much all you need to make sure that your images get indexed. But video presents a different set of problems.