Always use the ALT tag

By Daniel Scocco

The ALT tag, sometimes referred as the alternative tag, goes inside image codes to tell search engines what the image is about. An example of an ALT tag is:

<img src="moon.gif" alt="Picture of the Moon"/>

Many people forget to add the ALT tag to images, and some ignore it altogether. This is a mistake because the ALT tag is used by search engines not only to identify images but also for keyword density purposes.

The next time you place an image on your site do not forget to add the ALT tag with a couple of keywords pertinent to the image and to the content of the page.

Update: Equally important is the title tag inside the image code, some browsers (including some versions of Firefox) will not take into consideration the ALT tag, therefore having a title tag should make you more secure.



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9 Responses to “Always use the ALT tag”

  • Webbie

    Title tag too.

    Firefox doesn’t display the text on an alt tag, but does for title. (There is a techno bollocks reason for this but I can’t be arsed looking it up right now.)

  • Bes

    Good point. The alt tag also makes things more accessible to people using voice recognition software or similar things to navigate websites, as for those people the browser will read out the image alt tag aloud “A picture of Picture of the Moon.”

    The alt tag is also good for organizing things. Many pictures that are uploaded have weird names “Pic00293.JPG” or something similar, and thus having alt tags helps. I myself have uploaded many pictures in the past that had weird names like above. It’s a practice that needs refining by finding out other alternatives to save time, and having alt tags definitely helps when looking at very old posts to find out what the images are about.

  • Cory Miller

    Great tip … it’s one of those annoying things that I forget about … but an important tweak. I try to use my topics & keywords also in theme (that is if I don’t forget about them) …

  • Daniel

    webbie, I agree, the title tag is equally important.

    bes, so true. Pictures with weird names are frequent around the Internet.

  • Ajay

    In addition to alt attribute you should use the title attribute as well. alt doesn’t display in Firefox for some reason.

  • Madhur Kapoor

    Great info man , so image search in google is based on this info ?

  • Daniel

    Madhur, we do not know how exactly google rank images, but here are a couple of guidelines:

    – Google uses a different bot for imagine search, and this bot does not spider so frequent as the others
    – Alt tag influences the results
    – the file name and the surrounding text will also affect the image rank

  • Daily Good Tips

    Yes, because google will read the image as the text. It can make time of crawling faster.

  • Free arabic movies

    That’s is right … I did it ,, and I get very good results .

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