ALT tags defined|RankFixer

Alt Tags

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Back in the early days of the world wide web, the speed at which data could be fed to users was crippling. Images especially took a great deal of time to download. Even thou a picture may be worth a thousand words, a thousand words would often load faster.

So web users that were just in search of content would set their early web browsers to "text only" which would speed things up. While surfing the web in this mode the browser would download the text on each page and the ALT information about the images on the page. ALT being short for alternative. Instead of seeing the image the user would see the ALT description of that image.

Jumping forward to the state of the world wide web today and the speed of connections, most browsers don't even offer a "text only" setting. But Search Engines are computers not humans. A search engine doesn't "see" images like a human does so it relies on ALT tags to determine what the image relates to.

So savvy website managers would make use of images on their webpages that promote the products or services they have to offer and the ALT tags should have accurate descriptions of those images AND include the key terms that the website is designed to be relevant to.

A word of caution

Web masters should not abuse the trust of the search engines by "spamming" ALT tags. Filling every ALT tag on the website with endless repetition of the targeted key words would be considered an effort to falsely influence search results.

Best Practice

Website owners should make sure that the ALT descriptions would make sense to a human reading the description, that the description fits the image and that it contains when possible, the key words or terms relevant to the subject of the webpage.