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What are the SEO effects of ALT tags

6:07 pm on Nov 19, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What happens to indexing and ranking when almost all text is in ALT tags?

I am new to website building, and am using a CMS provider. After carefully aligning my urls, page titles and meta descriptions, I find that indexing does not seem to rank keywords on each page.

The vast bulk of my text content appears in ALT tags used for images in a slideshow, not in the body content of the page, which has a handful of links and almost nothing else.

Experimenting with MozBar, it appears I am getting almost no traction with this format.

Thinking of re-doing all my pages and placing the text next to each image, but would appreciate any insights before doing so.

1:19 am on Jan 29, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Alt tags can have a very slight bearing, although it's what is going on within the main content that search engines will focus on.

8:34 pm on Apr 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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alt tags should only be used to describe images. Look at the code of my website [snip] I'm a freelance web designer.
Please drop me a link with your page so I can have a look. If you used only images on your home page (this is quite common for photography websites) then alt tags would describe images used. However if for some reason standard text is closed in ALT then this practice should be changed.

hope this helps

[edited by: brotherhood_of_LAN at 8:37 pm (utc) on Apr 4, 2014]
[edit reason] no personal urls, see the terms of service. thanks [/edit]

4:07 pm on Apr 6, 2014 (gmt 0)


WebmasterWorld Administrator ergophobe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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I've actually found, fairly subjectively speaking, that alt tags are the least important for ranking an image out of

- on-page content
- image URL
- alt tag

I've often seen images rank based on just the URL for a specific search if the rest of the site supports the general area. For example, if you had a site all about flowers and the on-page content was all based on common names, but the URL includes the Latin name, you might get some traffic for searches on the Latin name. But of course, you'll get your butt kicked for all the usual reasons by a site that actually has good on-page content.

In general, uncaptioned slideshows are hard going to be really hard to rank for. 90% of the time when I end up on slideshow page, it's because I got suckered by one of those ads at the bottom of the page on Huffington Post or some other news outlet where the ads look like links to actual editorial content.