Feb 16

Optimizing for Image Search With Alt Attributes

SEO doesn’t begin and end with the text on your web pages. If your website has images, these should also be optimized in order to help with your overall page rank as to help your site appear in image searches, which are an increasingly popular application – and image search optimization is becoming a very important part of optimizing your site.

It all has to do with the alt attributes you use for the images on your site. Novice webmasters often neglect to set alt attributes for their images, sometimes as the result of being unaware of their importance (or even their presence).


If you don’t already have alt attributes for the images on your site, now is the time to take care of this oversight by implementing image search engine optimization for the images which appears on your site and are required.

What Are Alt Attributes

If you’re wondering what your alt attributes should look like, the answer is very simple: short, human readable text which describes the image.

If it’s possible, you can include a keyword relevant to your page, but only if it fits with the image – just as with text content, image search optimization is about relevance.

Don’t Abuse the Alt Attributes

There are site owners and SEO companies who are less than scrupulous about how they use their alt attributes and will instead make them lists of keywords, whether these are keywords relevant to the content of the site or ones which are simply popular search terms which they hope will bring in visitors.

It should go without saying (but unfortunately, it still needs to be said) that this is not a good idea. Not only does this make your site less useful to visually impaired visitors or those who use text only browsers, there is another very good reason not to do this: the search engines can also read those alt attributes and as you may know by now, search engines are not friendly to keyword stuffing.

Cramming your alt attributes could result in your page rank dropping or if it’s especially obvious that you’re trying to spam the search engines, even lead to your site being de-indexed – hardly worth it, I think you’ll agree.

Well implemented image search optimization can help your site gain an edge over similar sites and improve your overall page rank; but image search optimization which tries to trick the search engines could do you more harm than good.

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