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Question about fonts appiled to SEO

Site requires a font that must be an image

     
3:44 pm on Jun 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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We are working on a female genre site wherein site owner wants a specific font. The problem is this font would not be present on 90% of site's user's local machine and I have not had good luck with the MSN font download thing for websites.

My thought was to create the image layer with the "pretty font" and then create a layer beneath the image with the text so the spiders can read it.

Is there a way to inform the spider the text below the image layer is related to the image on top so there is no penatly to site? I guess in a way like the link relationship declarations?

-or-

Stuff the alt "" with the text 100 words or so? That would look hacky to a user and not really what I want to do.

Has someone had experience with SEO'n a designer/creative site? I know some of you will point me to forum 24 and if thats what it takes please tell me.

3:50 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you cloak the content - you will be providing an exact text equivalent of the "graphic text" on the page - so I dont see a problem.

But maybe someone has a better idea...

3:51 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't do 100 characters in the ALT text, but what you could do is type the text out normally on the page and then slap the image on top of it through CSS or put the text in an area with style set to display:none;

This way the search engines would see text, but a visitor would see the image and the text would be invisible. Honestly though I would try to talk whoever's decision that was out of this all together and go with a standard font, or at least issue a backup font in your CSS - type it out as normal text with that font as the default, then follow with Verdana, Arial, whatever. That way anyone who doesn't have the font will see it in Verdana or Arial but those who do have it will see the correct font.

Personally I think sites that try to force a font are intrusive and I hit the back button real quick.

4:55 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hmmmm! I would be careful about hiding text however you do it. Although you might not get caught out by the SE's for cloaking/hiding text you may get stung by a competitor who reports you for underhand techniques.
You need to bear in mind that the text will load before the image so your users will see the standard font before the image is overlaid.

Sure, the image displays the same thing as the text but it is still a deliberate effort to decieve however you look at it.

Under no circumstances should you stuff alt tags with text. The SE's do not like it and you will lose rankings as a result.

After all that I'm afraid I don't have a solution except to go for a bog standard font in the first place. You may be able to do it with CSS by having the font called up from somewhere on your server but I am not sure.

Ska

8:05 pm on June 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

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This sounds like a job for SIFR!

It uses flash to display your font to those who can see it and regular text to spiders and everybody else. It is a pretty elegant solution:

[mikeindustries.com...]

12:34 pm on June 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

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One way, if you insist on using graphics for text, is to place the text inside a DIV or SPAN with a unique name. Then use CSS to hide the text and display a background image in the space instead. I've seen this used primarily for headlines. It might look something like this:
HTML

<div id="Headline1">
<h1>This is my headline</h1>
</div>

and in the CSS:


#Headline1 {background:(url(images/headline1.gif) no-repeat #FFF;width:300px;height:72px;}
#Headline1 h1 {display:none;}

This way, users see the image without seeing the text at all, and spiders see the text as normal. I don't see how anyone could penalize you for this.

I also agree with other posters who have said that you should use the "special" font first in the CSS and then list alternate fonts after it. In the end, do what you need to do to make the client happy.

12:16 am on June 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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PhraSEOlogy - Client's host is a #$%% no option.

Agree with you Digitalv - But can't tell them that;-)

ska_demon - TY

Monkeythumpa - Have you used this on a site wherin you are dealing with competitive serps?

katana_one - WINNER******* j/k This is what I am leaning towards. I must research potential penalty.

Rememebr back in 96 when if it worked, you just did it? LOL

12:53 am on June 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You may just have to tell your client that what then want just isn't feasible and explain to them why it isn't feasible. I would think that telling your client the ugly truth is part of your job.
2:38 am on June 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I gotta agree with the above post. When you design a site, you're attaching your name to it - even if it's not advertised with a "site designed by" link, if someone ever asks the owner who did the site they're going to say your name. So the question you have to ask is do you want people to associate an obviously bad design tactic with your name?

I remember way back in the day when customers would say things like "I want lots of Java" - to which I more or less told them to find someone else to do their site because my philosophy has always been that even if it would be exactly what the customer wanted, if I wouldn't be proud to put it in my portfolio then I shouldn't do it.

12:30 pm on June 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would think that telling your client the ugly truth is part of your job.

Agreed. But sometimes, even after making a case of why something is a bad idea, the client says "I want you to do it anyway."
You can either walk away from the job at this point, or find a solution that you can both live with.
5:23 pm on June 22, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"I want you to do it anyway."

Heh heh, Thats why I'm an affiliate.

No Clients to deal with, EVER!

Ska

4:20 pm on June 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, we implemented it on [abcnews.go.com...] Take a look at the headlines and sub heads on just about any page . . . Then open up the source code and take a look.
4:42 am on July 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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ditto monkeythumpa on sIFR
 

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