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Will putting 1x1 pixel images hurt me?

It would be used to preload my mouseovers

     
1:08 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I need to find an easy way of preloading my mouseovers, and I have been told that putting them in my site as 1-pixel images, hidden on a coloured background, would be an easy solution.

Will Google penalise me for doing this?

They won't be links or anything.

1:11 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Probably not...I have thought about this in the past and come to the conclusion that, if Google penalized for 1x1 graphics, their search results would disappear :)

A 1x1 image, whether invisible or not, is a valid design tool...a 1x1 invisible link can never be utilized by a real person and therefore is spam.

Peter

2:25 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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cant you preload with java script?
2:31 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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interesting. never heard of this, but it has some distinct advantages.

using 1x1 images would work in browsers with js disabled and also result in less code = smaller page size.

2:44 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Pegasus,

There's no reason to be penalized for those small gifs if you don't stuff them with keywords or links.
Many sites use small gifs for accurate positionning of elements on the page.

Dan

2:56 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Many people use 1x1 for spacers, etc. As long as their is no keywords or links associated with them, you should be ok.
3:19 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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1 x 1 images and spacer bars are the only reliable and accurate way i have found to create tables that load the same across both ie and netscape...

I sincerely hope G does not penalise these as i've been using them for ages!

4:31 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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What would be some "safe" alt tags to use for the 1x1 image?

Spacer
Blank
Keyword
Company Name
etc.

The reason I ask is that you need "ALT" tags to verify as WC3 HTML4.01

5:07 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The preferred ALT tag for a spacer should be blank, eg.

<img src="spacer.gif" height="10" width="10" alt="">

This will validate as HTML 4.01.

6:09 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Pegasus,

Since you are using the images for mouseovers (for which you need JavaScript anyway), the best approach is to preload with JavaScript as well (as soapystar suggested). If the user does not support JS (and therefore won't see the mouseovers!), you'll have wasted no bandwidth by preloading, either.

If you *do* use 1x1 GIFs for formatting purposes, using alt="" is the right thing to do (make sure they are not linked, though, or you may get into trouble with the SE).

However, unless you have to support *really* old browsers, using CSS for layout may be a better (and faster) solution.

HTH!

6:18 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Why would you need to preload an image in a page when the user has javascript disabled, just curious.. I'm thinking along the lines of onMouseOver rollovers, which wouldn't (?) work at all without JS - is there something I'm not considering though?
6:34 pm on Mar 31, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Thank you, I will make the changes today.