ALT tags

  • phragmaster
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Post 3+ Months Ago

How effective have you found alt tags to be? Whats the best tags to put on them - keywords for the site or descriptions of the images
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • john5269
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I don't know how useful the alt tags are. I do know that the major search engines are surpose to use them in helping them to rank sites.

I didn't use them in the past, but I then started to use them and I found no major change in my sites ranking.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The W3C standard is to use the Alt attribute with images. To the best of my recollection, it's the only time you should use "Alt". I don't believe it is valid with any other element. The primary purpose of the Alt attribute is for text browsers or browsers with images disabled. I've never seen anywhere that search engines even care about it. The Alt attribute provides a "tool tip" when moused-over, and is also displayed in text browsers and browsers where images are disabled.

//added note for educational purposes. "Alt" is a valid attribute of the "img" element. The generic term "tag" is generally used to refer to HTML elements (e.g. "img" is an HTML element; "alt" is an HTML attribute). When refering to attributes that can be validly used to define the behavior of an element, they should be refered to as attributes, not the term "tags".
  • RichB
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I've seen some evidence that Google indexes alt text associated with images that appear within links. An example is this page that has two different images with unique words inside the alt attribute. If you search Google for the first word you'll only get some forum page that refers to the test and contain the nonsense word, but if you search for the word in the alt attribute of the image link you'll get both the forum pages about the test page and the page itself. The nonsense word also appears in Google's description of the page. To me that seems to be an indication that Google does index alt text if it is an attribute of an image inside a link.

I'm not suggesting abusing this or distorting the purpose of the alt attribute, I just thought it was interesting.
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Interesting RichB -- that's an excellent link and good to know. First I've seen something like that. Combine my tip with your tip and people could enhance their site. Great research. I've included "alt" for years, but nice to see it works in your favor.
  • alansmith
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have heard peoply discuss alt tags on text links before.
  • john5269
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have also seen it mentioned on many of the other forums on the Web!
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Also,
Some search engines, including Google have image searches. May be useful to you or maybe not. Having a good alt tag that tells what the picture is sometimes helps get that picture listed. Of course though, very few people use the image search.
  • john5269
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I would imagin that the people that mainly use the images search on Google are students and designers
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Post 3+ Months Ago

alansmith wrote:
I have heard peoply discuss alt tags on text links before.


Actually, for text links it should be the "title" attribute, not "alt" (essentially it does the same thing re: the tool tip).
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

john5269 wrote:
I would imagin that the people that mainly use the images search on Google are students and designers


Not necessarily so. If you can forget for a moment that I design, I also garden as a hobby. I find myself looking more for images of flowers than I do for images for design ideas. In fact it's almost always for flowers and in some cases animals.
  • john5269
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Then again, I guess your right as people who are interested in cars will use it to see car images, people internested in football may also use it, etc.

Another words, anybody could use it!
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SEO note for both the "alt" tag for iamges and the "title" attribute for text links.

First alt tags: Google will spider the text in image links "only" placing text in a non link image will not get consideration.

Important considerations: Is the destination of your link more important than the page that the image link is on? If so use the keyword for the destination, not the page linking.

For example if I were linking to my page optimized for "seo company" with an image my alt text would be "seo company" even if the page I was linking from was my page for "seo expert" as "seo expert" is a far less competitive term.

A thing to remember is try to keep the alt short and relevant to the image ie: If your page is about the kw "car" then your alt should be "car image" or better yet just "car"

The worst thing you can do is attempt to overload the alt with tons of kw's this not only dilutes the density proportionately it ends up covering your image on mouseover and making your site look like crap.

For optimization purposes if your going to kw load a link an html version with choice anchor text is preferred.

Now for the title attribute. It does nothing for your ranks (Trust me I've tested it) http://www.seo-tests.com/title-attribute.html

It is used for browsers enabled with special attribute reading feature for the visually impaired but lends no wait to ranking in the Google algorithm or as far as I can tell any other engine

Cheers
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I think it is save to say that the various search engines are unique. You should focus your efforts on using all available methods; rather than invest so much time getting inside the brains of the search engine powers that be.

Don't get me wrong... this is an interesting thread. However, it may not necessarily be all that beneficial.

What is interesting are the creative methods web masters user to get text into alt and title attributes, and meta tags with minimum fuss. Furthermore, I'd like to know how much effort you place on word forms and synonyms.
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

rjmthezonenet
When it comes to relevancy based search there are 2 powering engines PERIOD! Google and Ink

Thankfully optimization for them can be quite similar so you can rank well for both for instance I rank #1 for SEO Company in both inktomi and Google. Which covers Google, MSN, AOL, HOTBOT and any other engine that brings traffic so I say this discussion is VERY beneficial.

Your word forms and synonyms question is much more interesting and the answer for myself is I emphasise synonyms as much as both the traffic amount available tells me too. Also interesting is the both main powering engines utilize a technique known as keyword stemming which covers derivatives and plurals. Smoke becomes smoking becomes smoker with no onpage change
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SEO Guy wrote:
...I rank #1 for SEO Company in both inktomi and Google... ...so I say this discussion is VERY beneficial.


Yes, but the point was using all opportunities because they can only help.

SEO Guy wrote:
...I emphasise synonyms as much as both the traffic amount available tells me too.


Agreed. Synonyms are tedious, but well worth it. It is hard to predict what terms searches will use (some of them just plain crazy); synonyms cover most all of your basis. Going a step further, I like to include some common speling (pun) mistakes. SEs are great at providing suggestions, but your pages will rank high on the original search terms.

SEO Guy wrote:
...engines utilize a technique known as keyword stemming which covers derivatives and plurals.


What about exact matches? Do you have any information on how search engines compare matches between derivatives, plurals, and exact matches?

Back to synonyms... has anyone encountered an automated tool that puts synonyms into your META keywords?
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Yes, but the point was using all opportunities because they can only help.


Actually not true. If you optimize for alta vista or all the web you do so at a detriment to your google/ink rankings thus really your cutting off your nose to spite your face. Why would you want to trade your 80% for 20?

Quote:
Agreed. Synonyms are tedious, but well worth it. It is hard to predict what terms searches will use (some of them just plain crazy); synonyms cover most all of your basis. Going a step further, I like to include some common speling (pun) mistakes. SEs are great at providing suggestions, but your pages will rank high on the original search terms.


http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion will spell out using the 2 worlds biggest kw tracking databases what is getting traffic, it is not hard to predict at all. And its free

Quote:
What about exact matches? Do you have any information on how search engines compare matches between derivatives, plurals, and exact matches?


Google applies what is called a dimishing return algorithm to both stemmed kw's vs exact matches and also for proximity ie "Here is a keyword phrase sentence" vs "Here is a sentence with a keyword and a phrase" the further apart the constiuents of your phrase are apart the less potency they have. (To a point)

Quote:
Back to synonyms... has anyone encountered an automated tool that puts synonyms into your META keywords?


This will not help you: The only engine using the meta keyword is Inktomi and if you have kw's in your meta kw page that do not occur in your page you can have a manual page ban imposed. If you cant use a synonym in your copy then dont have it in the Kw tag, but there is always a way to use any word on a page :-)

Cheers
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
If you optimize for alta vista or all the web you do so at a detriment to your google/ink rankings thus really your cutting off your nose to spite your face.


Ok, so by using alt and title attributes, along with meta keywords and description, I am hurting my ranking in one of the search engines? That doesn't make sense. Remember... we weren't talking about optimizing for a particular search engine, just liberally specific attributes and tags as much as possible.

Quote:
www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion will spell out using the 2 worlds biggest kw tracking databases


Interesting. Thank you.

Quote:
Google applies what is called a dimishing return algorithm to both stemmed kw's vs exact matches... The only engine using the meta keyword is Inktomi


So using derivatives would help slightly, except Inktomi is the only engine using keywords? What about generating derivatives and synonyms from one page to fill the title attribute of the referring page?

Quote:
if you have kw's in your meta kw page that do not occur in your page you can have a manual page ban imposed


That seems a little harsh. There must be some sort of threshold before such action is taken. Do you of further information on this point?
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Ok, so by using alt and title attributes, along with meta keywords and description, I am hurting my ranking in one of the search engines? That doesn't make sense. Remember... we weren't talking about optimizing for a particular search engine, just liberally specific attributes and tags as much as possible.


That isnt what I said at all. I said that you cannot optimize for the minor engines (Properly) without losing rank on the major ones as the process for success is different. I was addressing your comment about "You should focus your efforts on using all available methods"
Quote:
What about generating derivatives and synonyms from one page to fill the title attribute of the referring page?


The title attribute in a text link is not counted towards any ranking consideration, perhaps you mean the alt in an image link. This would work.

Code: [ Select ]
That seems a little harsh. There must be some sort of threshold before such action is taken. Do you of further information on this point?


It is harsh, however in reality a boot almost never happens. They just have to state it as an absolute so noone bitches when the 1 time out of 1000 they actually decide to do it they dont get in trouble
  • rjmthezonenet
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Cool. Thanks. :-)
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Anytime Brother :-)
  • vetofunk
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Post 3+ Months Ago

SEO Guy wrote:
rjmthezonenet
When it comes to relevancy based search there are 2 powering engines PERIOD! Google and Ink

Thankfully optimization for them can be quite similar so you can rank well for both for instance I rank #1 for SEO Company in both inktomi and Google. Which covers Google, MSN, AOL, HOTBOT and any other engine that brings traffic so I say this discussion is VERY beneficial.


Optimization can also be different. I have a few clients that do well in Ink and not so well in Google. Not the majority though, only a few. Especially during the last few updates. In the past, I use to be able to optimize for Google, and I could count on getting good position for all, but things change.

This is sort of out of this thread, but also remember just optimizing is not enough, especially alt tags, incoming links are very important. You can see that SEO-GUY has over 6,000 backlinks which gives him a PR of 8. I think that has helped much of his success to being #1.

Nice job by the way, good to see younger SEO's kicking a$$ in this business 8)
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Oh without a doubt backlinks kick ass on any onpage content. The only reason they were mentioned is because this was an onpage discussion however kids lets be serious if you can rank #1 for the search allinanchor:yourkeyword in Google then you can rank for kw. there is a catch though, make sure you vary your incoming anchor text and keep each phrase less than 20% of your links
  • SEO Guy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

And Veto funk I here that SEO Guy fella gives PR 7 backlinks for relevant index page links you should email him ;)
  • DR01D
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Post 3+ Months Ago

sorry to drag this up but i think there are som eother points to note:

i think one of the main purposes of the alt tag is for blind people using screen readers and therefore alt tags should be used to describe what the image is. Im not allup to speed on this subject but i am sure there are accessibility standards around that specify how to use them correctly.

A previous employer had his site chockers full of keywords etc in ALL the alt tags on ALL the images on the page (and there were alot of em) and each to the max size of the tag, which would then bring up a big ugly yellow box with the alt text in it. and if i were blind trying to read the site i would have given up.

im sure this had some effect on the results as he was getting number 1 on all the engines. but it pretty much makes the site unusable from and accessible pov.

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