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Accessibility and Usability Forum

Image/Link Attributes -- TITLE= vs ALT=
One or the orther, or both?

 4:56 pm on Nov 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just wondering: when you have an A HREF= tag that contains an IMG SRC= tag, is it a good idea to include both attributes? -- some browser versions support one or the other, and some support both.

From a technical standpoint, I assume the HREF TITLE attribute is supposed to be bound to the link destination, while the IMG ALT attribute is to describe the image itself, but since we are looking to provide accurate context, it's difficult sometimes.

Do search engine bots treat the attributes differently? What happens when both are identical? Should they be different?



 4:33 am on Nov 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

From an accessible standpoint rather than an SEO standpoint, this is how it should work:

An anchor's title is to describe where the anchor goes, displayable as a tooltip when hovering over it.

An image's title is to describe what the image is about, displayable as a tooltip when hovering over it.

An image's alt is to describe the image in such a way that it can be conveyed without seeing the picture itself, displayable in Lynx (text-only browser) or a screen-reader.

Because of that, I would include all three (albeit they may have slightly differing descriptions.)

As for the SEO, I'm not altogether sure, but I believe Google checks an anchor's title, as well as an image's title and alt attribute values :)

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