Which Has More SEO Value: An Image File Name or ALT Attribute?

Feb 1, 2007 • 4:10 pm | comments (11) by | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization

One of the tactics often employed in Search Engine Optimization is the naming of images to include important keywords as well as the use of a descriptive ALT Attribute, also commonly including the targeted keyword. Although the ALT Attribute also doubles as being something to provide screen readers for the visually impaired a concise description of the image, the changing of the file name would be hard to justify other than for SEO purposes, although some may argue that. Perhaps if a web page has images available to be downloaded, they may be able to increase user experience by clearly labeling the image file.

A recent discussion at Cre8asite Forums asks which has more SEO value: the file name or the ALT attribute. Some great responses follow, and provide some insight as to how to "properly" name files or images, based on the opinions of the posters. However, as usual, Bill Slawski (Bragadocchio) takes it up another level and introduces some higher level thinking on the subject, including some links to valuable tutorials and a cited patent application which supports one of his theories.

However, another poster, "Halfdeck," goes a step further to analyze how certain images appear within Google image results, or as Bill puts it:

You've set out a nice way to explore how words around an image might influence what that image may rank for.

This is one of the best threads I have read in a while, as it pushes for further research on the quantifiable validity of image labeling, and the relationship that is evaluated by search algorithms between images and text around them. Join the discussion and add your thoughts or learn something new at Cre8asite Forums.

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