Google Sitemaps now accept an image attribute Google Webmaster Blog. Images play a critical role in site structure and SEO. Proper indexing of your multimedia content is an important factor in the game of SEO. Sitemaps also play a critical role in the way a site is handled. In fact Matt Cutts has made a point in letting us know that sitemaps can be used as a tie breaker when trying to determining the most relevant source for duplicate content. The last point I want to focus on here is the fact of image ownership. If you are using the same image throughout your site and you know it is being cached in the Google Images results then you can only assume that the inclusion of the image in the site map will allow Google Images to better associate the proper page that is hosting that image and provide more relevant results in their result sets.

This new functionality becomes even more important if you have multiple images on a page and want to make sure the important ones get indexed. Couple that with the fact some images are served via Java. You can now make sure these are not overlookes the next time your page is indexed.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?>
<urlset xmlns=”″

A sitemap can be easily submitted through Google Webmaster Tools (a free toolset available to all web owners). If you need help building out your sitemaps, visit the official Google sitemap forum.