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Alt Tags

An Alt Tag question

     

Chris Burgess

3:09 am on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Can anyone tell me the maximum number of Characters in an Alt Tag?
3:24 am on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Hi Chris,

Welcome to WmW.

I have never heard of a MAX when it comes to ALT tags. I just make my description and run from there.

Chris Burgess

4:35 am on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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My description will include Keywords and I would like an idea as to how many I can put as I have quite an assortment that I can use.
1:53 pm on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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Chris,

I tend to keep it under 10 words for my description.

9:16 pm on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I also cap it off at 10...
Using too many keywords may have two negative repercussions: Dilute the theme and cause your kewyord density to be too high (for engines that take the alt tag into account). Also, some editors of directories don't like to see a very long list of keywords for the alt tags.
My suggestion would be to pick the 5-10 most relevant, on-topic keywords and use those for your alt tags.
9:48 pm on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I try to keep it fairly short as well. There's nothing like a huge box of keywords popping up under your mouse to destroy the look of the page.

sean orourke

11:03 pm on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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My 2 cents: keep it usable. ALT tags are meant to be "alternate text" for when images or other objects are ~not~ loaded (with some side benefits for images or other objects that ~are~ loaded). If you use graphics for navigation, make sure people can still navigate with graphics off. Try surfing with graphics off for a day or two and you will have an excellent handle on ALT tags.

The most comprehensive ALT tag resource I've seen so far is Use of ALT texts in IMGs [ppewww.ph.gla.ac.uk].

11:19 pm on Feb 12, 2001 (gmt 0)

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>> keep it usable

I couldn't agree more. You can usually get your keywords into a "legitimate" alt tag that won't have vision impaired people going nuts.

Also, Google displays alt content right there in your site description -- that can make for some awful looking listings if you over-stuff them with keywords.

7:49 pm on Feb 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

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FYI - this is something that has been brought to my attention, wanted to share:

ALT tags and persons with disabilities, screen readers for the blind make use of that tag, as do wireless (WAP) devices and web clippers. In the case of screen readers, the ALT tags are read aloud in lieu of the graphics by the machine doing the text to speech conversion.

Xoc

9:58 pm on Feb 13, 2001 (gmt 0)

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[cast.org...] will analyze your web site and point out problems that a person with disabilities might have. Realize that a search engine is pretty much a person with disabilities, so it is useful there, too.
5:25 pm on Mar 6, 2001 (gmt 0)

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I promoted and submited my site without having anything in alt tags at all. However, in some major indexes google, aol, lycos... my site has very hight ranking. I am not tring to say that alt tags are not important, most probably they can increase chances of success. Just wanted to share my experience with atl tags.
 

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