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Thread: ALT tags: what's the value?

  1. #1
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    ALT tags: what's the value?

    I've heard different stories on this one and wonder what people think.

    ALT tags on images is one of those things that can help you with some search engines but not others.

    I have heard that if your ALT tags have relevant text that matches the other relevant text on your pages, it can help get you a better relevancy ranking (and hence a higher listing).

    Has anyone else found this to be true?

  2. #2
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    Yes, my server logs prove that.

  3. #3
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    While completing an accessibility test on my website I also noticed that some search engines ignore you if you use one keyword excessively in your alt tags. (i.e. more than five times it assumes you're trying to fool the search engine.)
    In a world without walls and fences - who needs Windows and Gates?! - Unknown Author
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  4. #4
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    ALT tags are for describing the image for people with accessibility problems, they are not intented for SEO promotion.

  5. #5
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    I don't see what's wrong with that, as long as your still accuately describing the image... i.e. on a site about dogs, putting alt="Dog, breed: ****zou, age: 4 years old, white fur, ****znous caninus" or whatever.

  6. #6
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    Yes the ALT tag does help you get a higher listing on the search engines. It's best to match your keyword where you can but obviously don't over do it cause the search engines don't like that. Also it's important to keep the keywords closest to the front of the text (if that makes sense). IE if you were selling milk bottles and your keyword was 'milk bottle' don't write the ALT tag as "picture of milk bottle" write something more like "milk bottle picture."

  7. #7
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    Don't even say picture just kind of write it as a response to "What's this a picture of?", in sentence fragments.

    "What's this a picture of?" "Milk bottle."

  8. #8
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    I have not yet seen an instance where the ALT tag makes any difference at all for the search engines.
    Anita G Cohen-Williams
    Search Engine Optimizer/Guru
    http://www.mysearchguru.com
    "Get Your Web Site Noticed!"

  9. #9
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    I have yet to see an instance where I could tell...

  10. #10
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    A number of things help search engines find you. It's best to do as many of them as you can (meta keywords/title/description etc). So yes, optimising the ALT tag will help towards getting you higher up on the engines but you must also optimise everything else in your site too.

  11. #11
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    I always use ALT tags to describe the pic, but they can also be optimized within reasonable limits.
    If you have images which are relevant to the page, and each page is also optimized then you will get a boost in most engines.
    So ALT tags on their own aren't going to get you high on the SEs but they will help.

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