January 23, 2023

How search engines take attribute alt in images into account

Fresh, clear, high-quality images should be present on every commercial website. Users interact with content, and they often reject pages with low-quality graphic elements.

For the optimization of the images of the promoted site to be effective, it is necessary to know some nuances of the image ranking algorithm. The logic of a user looking for a suitable image is that he looks first at the image itself, and only then pays attention to the dimensions, text, or link. The image user likes can encourage the user to visit the site, especially if he wants to find the appropriate description.

  • The image must be relevant to the information on the page.
  • The meta description of the image must correspond to its content.

The first step to promoting images is to match the content of the image and the description. Do not call the picture "Green Elephant" if it depicts a pink panther. It is worth noting that search engines have advanced image scanning algorithms. They were created to filter unwanted content, primarily from adult sites.

How to sign images. What are the general principles of image captions

1. A brief and truthful description of the image.

If the description of the photo does not match its contents, then this image simply will not receive clicks from the search. Automatically created signatures in the ALT tag must be rechecked.

2. The description length should be at least 3–4 words and no more than 250 characters.

It is difficult to describe the product in less than 3 words, inserting all the necessary keywords. The upper limit, by the experimental data, does not exceed 250–255 characters.

3. The presence of important keywords.

Similar to the H1 and TITLE headers, the ALT attribute must contain keywords that are important for promoting this image, not the landing page.

4. No spam.

Overoptimized and spammed alts can cause the imposition of penalties from Google. Therefore, you do not need to insert all the keywords you need into ALT. Limit yourself to the most necessary keywords which describe images most accurately. Also, you do not need to add the words “buy”, “reviews” or “price” to the alts, unless of course it is a screenshot of reviews or price list, but you can use the word “photo”.

5. Empty alts for decorative images.

If some pictures on the site are part of the design – logos, buttons and arrows, as well as other decorations, it is better to use empty ALT tags for them. Some optimizers insert keywords here as well, but to no avail. Background images and images that are opened using the script are not indexed.

What should I do if one product has several images?

What to do with the signature in this case? The easiest option is to leave the same description for all photos. This is a normal and frequently used option. The uniqueness of the images themselves is important to the search engine, therefore it is not worth describing each one. You can add to the main text: “View 1”, “View 2" and so on.

How search engines take alt into account in images.

How search engines take attribute alt in images into account

  1. Google recommendations.
  2. Use page titles and menu item names in images, because not all users will be able to see them. To make important text content available to as many users as possible, publish it in plain HTML format.
  3. The name of the file may suggest to Google the subject of the image. Try to make sure that the file name contains a description of the subject of the image. For example, the name my-black-kitty.jpg much more informative than IMG00023.JPG. Descriptive file names can also help users: if we can't find the appropriate text on the page where we found the image, then create it.
  4. The ALT attribute is used to describe the contents of a graphic file. It is necessary for several reasons.
  5. This will give Google useful information about the subject of the image. We use this information to determine the best images returned at the user's request.
  6. Some users cannot see images on web pages. These include people with visual impairments, those who use screen readers or have a low-speed Internet connection. You can use the descriptions in the ALT attribute to convey important information to these users.
  7. Not recommended: <img src="puppy.jpg" alt=""/>
  8. Better: <img src="puppy.jpg " alt="puppy"/>
  9. The best option: <img src="puppy.jpg " alt="Dalmatian puppy playing with a stick">
  10. What to avoid: <img src="puppy.jpg" alt="puppy dog puppy puppies small puppies dog retriever labrador wolfhound setter pointer puppy jack russell terrier puppies dog food cheap dog food puppy food"/>
  11. Adding excessive number of keywords to the ALT tag causes a negative impression on users and may lead to your site being considered spam. Instead, try to create useful and informative rich content in which keywords are used appropriately and do not diverge from the context. It is recommended to test the content using a text browser, such as Lynx.

The results of experiments on the ALT promotion

Results for Google

  • Keywords inside the <IMG> tag are taken into account.
  • In particular, the value of the alt attribute is taken into account.
  • If the keyword occurs only in the title attribute and/or the image name, then the document is not located by this keyword.
  • Whether the picture is unique or not doesn't matter.
  • Pages where markup (ImageObject) was used, would rate higher than pages without markup.

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