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Thursday, August 18, 2005

Is ALT Text Important with Search Engine Optimization?

I have recently read an article by acclaimed SEO Expert Robin Nobles on the subject of ALT text. As always, Robin has given us the facts but tempered them with reason. You can find an excerpt below and a link to the full article below.

How Important is ALT Text in Search Engine Optimization?
By Robin Nobles (c) 2005

For years, search engine optimizers have included their
important keyword phrases in ALT text for images, feeling
confident that many of the search engines considered the
contents of ALT text when determining relevancy.

The big question is, has this changed?

Yes . . .

None of the Major Engines Considers ALT Text When Determining

According to research by expert SEO researcher Jerry West of
WebMarketingNow ( and Search
Engine Academy (, at the
present time, none of the "Big Three" search engines (Google,
Yahoo!, nor MSN), considers ALT text when determining relevancy.

West explains, "Over the last six months, we have seen a trend on
our testing servers that shows that using ALT text for SEO
purposes has not only diminished, but adversely affects the
rankings in the SERPs. It is clear that search engines continue
to catch up to "SEO tricks" that are intended to improve search
engine ranking while damaging the visitor experience. The
American Disabilities Act (ADA) has strict guidelines as to what
your site needs to contain in order to be ADA compliant. I
garantee you, they do not look favorably at ALT text that has
been keyword stuffed.

Read the Full Article


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