Does The Alt Tag Improve Search Engine Rankings?

Dec 4, 2008 • 8:18 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

We know Google recommends using alternative text for your images. But does that mean your rankings will improve in the search engines if you use the ALT attribute?

That is the question at WebmasterWorld. Forget about what is "best practices" or what is nice to do, but does it actually improve rankings? The thread is not sure. We do have moderator, Robert Charlton, speak up and say:

I've seen some boosts from the alt text for a linked image, probably not as much as the boost for a text link would provide, but it's been noticeable on some phrases. I've not seen any boost from alt text in unlinked images, which doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Another senior member said:

The relative value of alt text for ranking has always been very little, but the spammy use of this has also been discouraged. I always try to fit in a 1-2-word alt text descriptor for real pictures but an empty value for spacer images.

So what do you think? Does ALT attributes directly increase your search rankings? Take the poll:

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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