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Are images with text in alt attribute accessible?



8:52 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I have a doubt.
Are images with text in the alt attribute accessible at the same level as images without alt tab text in which the text is added with html so that it seems that the text itself is part of the image?
I just want to know whether the second choice is better than the first for search engine optimization or not.

In conclusion, I would like to know whether it is worth it or not to extract the text from images like these leaving the alt tab attribute content as "" and adding the same text on the same position they were lying on the original image but this time with html, to improve search engine optimization.


11:22 am on Jun 17, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member piatkow is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

ALT is for the use of screen readers and the advice of people who are browsing with images switched off.

I don't know how search engines rank ALT, TITLE, the page title and other on-page text when indexing an image but even if ALT has no benefit it should not be blanked.


3:17 pm on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member penders is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

From a recent thread in the HTML Forum [webmasterworld.com]:

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.


3:55 pm on Jun 30, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member pageoneresults is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

"Content is "equivalent" to other content when both fulfill essentially the same function or purpose upon presentation to the user."

The above quote comes from the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) and refers to attributes that are utilized to present alternative content, the alt attribute being one of those.

The title attribute is an advisory element. It is typically invoked on hover and provides advisory information. I use them quite a bit on table headings in tight confined areas where we have to use brevity in visual text.

I believe that all content that is left after stripping markup is utilized to some degree. Content that resides in title attributes would be part of that. But, it's not to be used for what some might think. If you replicate in the title attribute that which surrounds it textually, I think it just negates itself. You also bring in the stuttering effect. My understanding is that certain software for accessibility allows the user to listen to advisory attributes, the title being one of them.

WordPress realized their users were stuttering out of the box and they have a Plugin to stop the madness! ;)

Remove Title Attributes

When it comes to the alt attribute and images, we've had some very lengthy discussions on that. I typically refer back to this one started by phranque...

Accessibility and <h1> Header Images

From the above discussion, I produced a document to show proof of concept. phranque makes me dig deep into the bowels of the W3 to find the really good stuff. :)

Image Replacement Technique

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