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I think Powdork is refering to when an image is being used as a link the alt text is read by google. When an image is just an image, the alt text is ignored.
Did they ever highlight an alt keyword in the description? Even when they used to read it in normal images. If the keyword appears nowhere else on the page, I think they used a dmoz or description tag.
>>When an image is just an image, the alt text is ignored.
Powdork and MHes, you're spreading misinformation here. Google indexes text in IMG ALT statements (which are required elements for WC3 compatible coding). Think for a few minutes and I'm sure you'll be able to come up with a suitable test for your theory.
In the old days google counted alt text as text for a users query.
Now the only count that text if it is:
1) In an alt tag.
2) Links to something else.
They are claiming that #2 includes just bigger versions of the thumbnail graphic as well.
first listing is the google store where a sample of products is shown in the middle and given the alt tag "product collage"
google store "Product collage"
yields zero results
ALT in an image does not count for zip, BUT
if the image on page "A" LINKS to a larger image (ie thumbnail photos linking to a larger version of the photo), the ALT text is counted as part of the text for page "A". Any time the image is a link, the ALT text counts and is read by Google
site:www.google.com Chronicle "press center" awards
site:www.google.com "SF Chronicle" "press center" awards
www.google.com/press/awards.html has alt="SF Chronicle" inside a link, yet it doesn't match.
So is it possible that Powdork's example has incloming link text to the page with the picture, or might the 'whether or not to use alt text in links' rule not consistent at the moment.
I've been testing this extensively over the last couple of days (with no conclusions reached) and can give examples where ALT text in a link does and does not count.
Is part of the problem not related to Dominics inconsistent update recent backlink show-up?