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Re: Keywords in 'IMG alt' tags
From Max on 10 August '98
adding to Keywords in 'IMG alt' tags posted by Ethan

>So I suggested
>that we add some more descriptive alt's to the image tags. Someone
>wrote some copy for the tags, which ended up being strings of keywords
>that are unique to each image or button.

the purpose of the ALT tag is to describe THE IMAGE for the benefit of
users (including search robots) who are using non-graphics mode on browsers.
If you cram a long list of keywords in there, it will make the page
difficult to read for those users (and note that there are browsers that read
out loud - try your pages that way, reading the keywords along with the
page text and see what happens to the meaning.
If the image is merely page decor, ALT="" will make it as invisible as possible.
If the image is a link, put ALT="Go to Chinese Restaurants" in it.

Make them useful to the user ... many persons surf with images off to save time,
and I don't bother waiting for image-laden pages. To sell me something, your page
has to be fast and functional.

>At first I thought this was a little overboard, worried that this might
>be considered a spam technique that would hurt us. But the word lists
>are about 25 words long each, and are unique and relevant.
Hold it. What image can be so complicated that it needs a 25-word description.
Describe it as briefly as possible.

" Are there
>any guidelines relating to alt tags and SE's that I should know about?
Some ignore ALT tags, and thanks to the persons who cram keywords into
ALT tags, they will soon all ignore them. If the keywords show up with a high
frequency in long ALT tags, you will inevitably get penalized.

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