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Text as an image?

Is it OK for Google

     
7:43 am on Jun 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have some large blocks of text that I want to reproduce on every page of my site for legal disclaimers etc.
Is it ok to reproduce each block as a graphic image rather than text that the bots can read. Would this pass a manual review. Is there nything wrong with doing it. I want to stay squeaky clean.
9:23 am on June 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Id say yes you'll be fine.

I cant see why google would have a problem with this.

The text will not be read, and you wil not dilute your content with legalese (sp).

Ultimately, its your website - not googles. :)

<added>Why not give people a small text image saying "subject to the terms and conditions found here" then link to a page with the legal text or image?</added>

10:33 am on June 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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i'd say don't do anything special with it - a normal <IMG tag and a normal file format. one point though - it won't be viewable by e.g. lynx browser, possibly putting you in a difficult legal position?
7:07 pm on June 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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as long as you alt the image lynx (links) will see.
7:38 pm on June 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't put large blocks of text in alt attributes. Standard use is just to describe the image, a link to a page sounds like it's best.
3:49 am on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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vincevincevince - you could get around this by just banning lynx. (Kind of silly -- but I've seen people do it.)

The real problem is if you have a blind user, operating text reading software . . . <g>

(ps: anybody tried lynx on Mac OSX.2? it's pretty kewl)

9:29 am on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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banning lynx

we all know how easy it is to change the lynx UA :-)
from time to time I set mine to googlebot and test competitors for cloaking - it's paid off before.

9:34 am on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I'd go with vinvevincevince, don't do anything special, treat it as a normal graphic.

Have you though about forcing the issue by making the text/graphic look like a legal deed or document, red tape and seals ... it will look like a graphic because it is a graphic but will it get the desired effect?

10:23 am on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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A large graphic will make your site very slow. I would avoid having a large graphic like that on every page. It will make the first page very slow, but if properly cached will not have much effect at slowing subsequent pages down, but it could still be annoying to visitors.
4:27 pm on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Its difficult to know the size of the graphic without knowing what the legalese size is - but size is very important!
7:39 pm on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Google won't mind what kind of images you include, but alt-text is not intended for really big texts (that's what the <img> longdesc-attribute is for).

But why do you want to include the text as image in the first place? Wouldn't it be more reasonable to just use text, and apply some style to make it smaller? Then you would be on the safe side regarding legal position, having the page display quick, server traffic, text-to-speech browsers/ non-image browsers, and so on.

By including an image, you might actually put *more* emphasis on it than less. People might see it loading, get confused why text loads like an image, then they might not be able to read it because it's too small, then they might try to copy the text and fail, and so on. Just do HTML as intended and you won't run into trouble!

8:23 pm on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I want to use images for duplicated text to avoid any prospect of duplicate content and because it makes optimisation a lot easier ie I am left with just one block of text, positioned towards the top of the coding and do not have to manipulate the text of precise legal content that I would rather not messs with.
Thanks for all your help.
9:43 pm on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have some large blocks of text that I want to reproduce on every page of my site for legal disclaimers etc.
Is it ok to reproduce each block as a graphic image rather than text that the bots can read. Would this pass a manual review. Is there nything wrong with doing it. I want to stay squeaky clean.

Sure you can, and it will pass a manual review. But I don't think the leagal disclamer will hold up i court. Think about people with text-only browsers, screenreaders etc.
It might be better to include the legal discamers with php or serverside includes.

9:53 pm on June 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Reqiem,
Thanks for that, and whilst I was not going to bother with alt tags, I will now to ensure that the problem is at least partially covered. As far as I'm concerned if people choose to see only part of my site its their problem if they miss something important. The word 'reasonable' runs consistenty through UK law and I think briefly describing the content in an alt tag i.e. 'legal disclaimer' will be enough to get me off the hook, if they have done business with me and not bothered to find out about the missing text.