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Thursday, 21 March 2013

Using Image Alternate Attribute (ALT Tags) for SEO

Images on your website can be described using alternate attribute text also know as alt tags. For SEO purposes it's especially important if you're using images as your navigation rather than text links. Basically you want to use the same descriptive words you'd put into the anchor text of a text link as the alt attribute information. It's fine to use image navigation as long as you do that.

Why is it important to use ALT attribute in images?

We know that our website is crawled by computerized bots that work on the basis of artificial intelligence, therefore they can understand the text based characters, hence it is impossible for them to recognize images and what visuals exactly an image contains. Therefore it is important to insert alt attribute to each and every image so that crawlers can recognize what the image is about.

So let's look at what the alt attribute looks like in the source code of your page. Open the source code of your website by pressing pressing Ctrl+U as a shortcut to view the source code of the page:


So "Gambia Country Flag" is our alt attribute text that describes the picture of the of a Gambian flag in this case.  So now let's see what it looks like on the page:



In this case search engine bots will recognize this image as a Gambian flag because of its alt text. It's typically helpful for SEO purposes on these images as the search engines only usually index information in the alt tags of clickable images.


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