Images without the alt attribute

The HTML "Alt" attribute is another on-page ranking factor, having a moderate importance for search engines when evaluating the page relevance. The search engines spiders are not performing very well when it comes to images: they can tell what a image is, but they are not able to describe it accurately.

"Alt" attribute is used:

  • to describe an image when search engines crawlers can't interpret it
  • to improve user experience: there are browsers that can't support images, so users will be able to read the description included in the "alt" attribute
  • the alternative text will be interpreted by search engines as anchor text when the image is used as a link
  • "Alt" text and and file names may increase website visibility in rankings: in the main index as well as in Google Images (or other)

An image source like this one <img src="/image07.jpg"> without the "alt" attribute will not give much information for search engines about what the image represents. Using "alt" attribute <img src="" alt="Joomla! Logo"> will give a better perspective to search engines about the image.

Google Guidelines are recommending to take advantage of this attribute by accurately describing in a few words what the image is. Using 7 to 10 descriptive words will help with on-page SEO and won't affect the website ranking (don't abuse it by stuffing the alternative text with too many keywords because the website risks to be penalized).

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