I recently switched links off of one of my homepages from text to jpg buttons. I saw a marked improvement in search engine rankings. I suppose this is because there was now less text on the page so the keyword density was higher. My sites are dynamic so its a lot more trouble to do buttons... Is it worth it and what is everybody else using?
It's not very different from a coding/functional perspective. The <a href=> URL is the only part the spider NEEDS to follow.
That said, I don't see why switching from one to another style of link would make a drastic difference in ranking.
I use both types of links on most sites... Images for links which tend to be identical throughout the entire site (major navigation), text for links/navigation that tend to change from one page to the next. That way, I can have "nice looking" major links, without really increasing load time (since the browser can cache the buttons on the first pageview).
The spiders can follow the links off of buttons as easily as they can follow text links, can't they? I just checked and the site that I changed did get deep spidered by google and fast.
As far as seo importance I am wondering if the buttons might be better. For example, you have a sporting goods site....your keyword for your home page is sporting goods...but you have 15 links off of this page to baseball equip., hockey equip. etc....these links would dilute your main keyword of sporting goods if they were text.
that's been my reason for relying entirely on text links...what you have to do is choose the words carefully
with the example of the sporting goods site I would have though sporting goods was a prety poor choice of keyword...I'd be much more likely to search for equipment fora particular sport...so the text links would be far better