SEO - Beauty in the eyes of Google

ArmadilloArmadillo Barely GrinningTampa, Fl.Registered Users Posts: 31 Big grins
edited February 7, 2016 in Mind Your Own Business
I see a lot of beautiful, clean, photography sites with a minimalist look and little or no text.
But from what I read about Search Engine Optimisation, Google wants text content. Specifically at least 300 words before Google thinks your page has enough content to show.
So I have to wonder how are those clean minimalist sites getting noticed by Google?
There is "meta data" we can add to photos, galleries, etc, but this is largely ignored by modern search engines. They want content.

I'm doing a minor redesign of my site and I want it to be clean, classy, and Google friendly. Also with as few clicks as resonable between landing page, photos, and cart page.
However having a bunch of unneeded (for the customer) text loaded with keywords is distracting and detracts from the photos.

So, how do you balance page aesthetics and Google's needs?
If you have a clean minimalist site how are you satisfying Google's desire for text content?

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