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Advice in Image text

to alt or not to alt

     
9:07 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Come up with a bit of a problem, a client has supplied me with some content to add on thier website but its only available in pdf format. this obviously isnt a problem but they also want the format to stay the same.

The pdf uses lots of fonts that wont be available to users browsers.

I could add the page as an image but the SE's wont read it unless i add the text to the alt tag, is this a good idea? how much is too much text in the alt tag? i need all the text crawled but dont want to over do it on alt tags?

oh and the content must be embeded not a pdf online.

Thanks

9:34 pm on June 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There are programs that will turn PDF into HTMl but I haven't found one yet that I would recommend. I did it once and had to rewrite all the code to get rid of code bloat.
1:25 pm on June 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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how much is too much text in the alt tag?

Any more than approx 15-20 words as alt text is not a good idea. Some search engines see excessive alt text as spam, apparently.

I could add the page as an image

It's not only search engines who can't read images. It's people too. Potential customers (if you are selling something). It's a failure of basic accessibility.

The pdf uses lots of fonts that wont be available to users browsers.

Browsers will use the nearest default or whatever else you specify. Be flexible if poss. The important thing is to get your message across, not to try to force the Internet to do the impossible. Hope this helps.

2:19 pm on June 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The client could probably use a basic tutorial on what constitutes a "web page", use of fonts on the web, PDFs are for printing, not the web, the limits and differences on page formatting on HTML pages vs. print, how important text on pages is, etc.
4:54 pm on June 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The client could probably use a basic tutorial on what constitutes a "web page", use of fonts on the web, PDFs are for printing, not the web, the limits and differences on page formatting on HTML pages vs. print, how important text on pages is, etc.

Exactly, had a meeting with them today and they (reluctantly) settled for text! Give me strength!

Thanks for replies

10:26 pm on June 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It can be done
Search for embeded fonts
and read
Here
[webmasterworld.com]
2:51 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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How about just having the doc as HTML with a link to DL the .pdf file. With the link text having the relevant keywords in it?

I have done that several times with clients that had a manual or brochure they wanted to keep on the site and it worked out pretty well. But I had to convince them to let me do it though.

Afterall, they wanted the customers to read it, not the SEs.

8:41 pm on June 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Afterall, they wanted the customers to read it, not the SEs.

What i got was "why do we want search engines to read it, they dont spend any money with us."

typical just typical

4:04 pm on June 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>>>> typical just typical

Keep educating them. That's the job.

5:56 pm on June 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yeah...you have to make them understand that the more content read by the SE's the better.

It took awhile for me to convince my clients to this route. They were thinking the same thing, that the SEs don't make them money, people do. I explained to them that the better rankings they get(through more and better content) the more customers they could potentially get. They were on the second page of Google for the longest time and about a month or so after I implemented the html route...they actually got second to last on the first page.

But good luck to you.