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Title vs Alt in Image tags

2:42 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, it's pretty common knowledge that titles are a big part of SEO right now.

I always assumed that the "titles" being referred to meant the title of the page, the <meta name="title" content="whatever">.

But during an SEO conversation with my significant other last night, it occurred to me that it doesn't mean page title, but the title attribute of the image tag.

Soooo... could someone please shed some light on this for me?

And along the same lines, which holds more value in an image tag, ALT or TITLE?

2:58 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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So, it's pretty common knowledge that titles are a big part of SEO right now.

Based on what others have experienced and tested, the title attribute may not be part of the equation when optimizing a web page.

The title attribute is more of a usability feature. To learn more about the title attribute and its use, take a gander here...

7.4.3 The title attribute [w3.org]

Note: I'm not real fond of the example the W3 uses in the above link...

Here's a photo of 
<A href="http://someplace.com/neatstuff.gif" title="Me scuba diving">
me scuba diving last summer

My understanding of the title attribute is that it is to be used when the anchor text does not properly describe the linked resource or when you are using an image as a link, then you would use the title attribute on the a href to describe the destination of the linked image. You would use the alt attribute on the image to describe the image.

[edited by: pageoneresults at 3:02 pm (utc) on Feb. 14, 2006]

2:58 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Alt text is used to describe the image for users with images off or screenreaders and bots.

Title text, in the title attribute, is used for additional information in a link or image tag (or any other tag). As for SEO, title attribute text has about zero value.

10:05 pm on Feb 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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That's a good question. All I know is that more weight is given to what users can see. So whichever appears when the mouse rolls over the image will, IMHO, has more importance in serp.

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