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Alt tags how many do you use

     
7:13 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tigger is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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Like most Iíve been hit with the google update, but I donít want to go down that road, got the t-shirt, lost the traffic!

Iím looking at making some changes juggling text around trying to move keywords to a better position, staring at the monitor for inspiration, but Iím also looking at my alt tags.

Does google look at alt tags?

How many are acceptable?

thanks

7:37 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I only use alt tags for images that are links, and the alt text matches the title of the page being linked to. No problems for me.
7:54 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Does google look at alt tags?

No, avoid alt tags at all cost. If Gbody finds alt tags on your site she is likely to index that content and then return your site highly in the serps which may in turn hurt mysite.com's position. ;)

Hopefully, alot of people got up to go remove their alt tags.
All seriousness aside, mysite.com has its alt tags in alignment with its <h1> and <p> text and <title> so I can't say how much effect it has. I firmly believe when it is alt text of an image link it definitely is given more weight, even an outgoing link. I would guess that regular alt text is given at least the same weight as <p> especially when themed with the site.
IMPORTANT: alt text has a very important value for the disabled. I would hope that Google would penalize heavily for manipulating alt text to gain page rank. If you want your alt text to match your keyphrase, I suggest you take/use/steal a picture that matches your keyphrase.
CUT

10:51 am on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Does google look at alt tags?

She certainly does. I'm #1 on Google for the combination of "next page" and "previous page".

Ed. note: I tweaked the text a wittle. Those search strings will not find my site

12:30 pm on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Tigger:
Not sure if this helps (as everyone seems to be having different results handed out this month). I use alt tags for images, but only to the point they describe the image without a lot of kw stuffing. I think if you keep it simple, and use them for what they are suppossed to be used for you will be fine. Sticky me if you want an example.

On a side note;
I noticed a competitor that did a lot nonsense stuffing and tweaking, and apparently was not looked good upon for the efforts (whether this was the reason is unclear). Yet another that does not use any alt tags, and also slipped in the SERPS.

My opinion:
If you abuse the alt, prepare to slide. If you do not use alt, you mine as well use flash because you basically have uselesss content in a bot's eyes..

[edited by: argusdesigns at 12:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 1, 2002]

12:34 pm on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the help :)

I now have a clear picture what I need to do to get some rankings back in google - - not :)

I always fancied a job as a builder LOL !

1:38 pm on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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I don't wanna sound holier than the pope but...

If an alt tag can help a visual handicaped person to visit or when visiting my site I will use it. Not with Google in my head but with the visitor in my head.

So I don't think that a sound use of alt tag will hurt your SERP.

I also optimalize my site but never with the search engine as main target. If Google says that the user must have relevant information, which in my opinion is the best way to act, I will do so....
And behold! This tactic automaticaly gives me some nice SERP's for some nice keywords :)

2:02 pm on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Strangly enough - what would be a really good button for a disabled browser, also makes a very good alt tag in google (and others) - write each major alt tag as if the images didnt exist, explain what each one does as if it was the only thing on the page. dont bother with alt tagging "1x1pixel.gif" with a string of useless keywords - it really doesnt help and would look truly awful to any visitor who didnt have images turned on (or other browsers)

keep them concise, helpful and discriptive - and then they will help you, your SE ranking and your visitors

2:02 pm on Oct 1, 2002 (gmt 0)

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Use alt tags to help the visually impaired. Alt tags that are empty or confusing (e.g., "click here", "img03458q") don't help. Tags like, "click to place order" or "Acme widget model 230C" DO help.

Note that image names and alt tags may have a much bigger effect on image searches than on keyword searches. Some people don't like to be found in image searches because the believe they are done mostly by people looking to steal pictures. Others believe that someone searching for widget picture probably is a widget fancier, and might actually look around the site and buy something. If you are in the latter group, creating simple and accurate names and alt tags will help draw image traffic.

 

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