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IE8 does not show image alt tags any more.
Apparently it will show title tag! I never used title tag for images!

 12:02 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Trying to optimise a page just now and see that IE8 does no show alt tags on images. This is a pain I thought so I downloaded Opera 10 and guess what, it does not either!

Apparently from posts in other forums IE8 will show image title tags as a mouseover, but who used title tags on images in the past, oh and long description, I never used that either.

So soon we can all spam the living daylights out of the image alt tag because no human users will every see it!



 12:57 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Aha, I see WebMasterWorld knows about this already, the header ad has both an alt tag and a title.

Will both be used by the SEs?


 1:18 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Explorer's previous handling of the alt attribute was against the W3C recommendations, and the other browsers had it right. The alt is for non-visual browsers, not for a tool tip. It took Microsoft a long time to come around on this point (and many others, too).

As to what the search engines will use, that is always a question worth watching and testing. Right now the alt attribute is what affects ranking, from what I can see, and the title attribute is not used as a signal. And that makes sense, because it is what non-visual browsers and screen readers like JAWS will be "reading" aloud.


 1:49 pm on Jun 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks tedster, as always you are a font!

A font of knowledge :-)

I think I will have a play with the alt and title tags to see what happens.


 2:32 pm on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)


What to do with the "long description" ..

Do I use it just like an alt or a title tag?


 3:28 pm on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

What to do with the "long description" ..

From W3C [w3.org]:

longdesc = uri
This attribute specifies a link to a long description of the image. This description should supplement the short description provided using the alt attribute. When the image has an associated image map, this attribute should provide information about the image map's contents. This is particularly important for server-side image maps. Since an IMG element may be within the content of an A element, the user agent's mechanism in the user interface for accessing the "longdesc" resource of the former must be different than the mechanism for accessing the href resource of the latter.

Although I'm not too sure of browser support. However, certain specialist/accessible browsers may make more use of this.


 7:16 am on Jul 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

Thanks penders, of course I should have looked at the W3C..


 10:45 am on Jul 1, 2010 (gmt 0)

See also: HTML5: Techniques for providing useful text alternatives [dev.w3.org]

This is a draft document not yet finished, but it covers image alt, title, aria-labelledby, aria-describedby and longdesc.

(longdesc is controversial and imho should generally be avoided.)


 6:51 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Both attributes are required on all images if you want to be properly crawled. Use the following website to check your page to see if your images are correctly coded according to google's standards.

[feedthebot.com ]


 9:14 pm on Jul 19, 2010 (gmt 0)

Both attributes are required on all images if you want to be properly crawled.

Have you tested that and found that the title attribute has ranking value? If so, please share some details because I have NOT found it to be the case.

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