Random Access Memories
Thoughts and suggestions for a better online experience.
Tag - Your it!
A picture is worth a 1000 words (if only the search engines could see what was in them)
Last Updated: Wednesday, February 18, 2009 at 11:12:53 AM
Photo Editor

The Internet is a visual world... Billions of images and videos populate the landscape yet many of them go unnoticed by the search engines.

Search engines are built around finding concepts and topics throughout the Internet and returning the results to the user. The problem is, search engines can only "read" text and website codes and cannot understand the contents of an image, photo or video. While several search engines can infer the contents of an image based on the information provide in text form on the same page, more descriptive information can be provided to the search engines for better search results.

Since the dawn of the graphical Internet, images have had the capability to describe themselves in text form so as to provide a language based description. The Alternative Text (or ALT tag as it is referred to) is attached to the code of an image to describe it in text form. 

Great!

But the problem is, the majority of websites and website developers don't utilize this tag and the images go unnoticed. 

So, why is this important? As mentioned, the Internet is a visual world.  The search engines understand this and will provide higher rankings to websites that provide a visual user experience while communicating the visual components with the search engines. 

Want to increase your Ranking? Communicate better with the search engines by describing your photos (see above for an example in the ideaCMS photo wizard).

In addition to providing better search engine results, the ALT tag will also open up your website to visually impaired visitors.  Describe the image you are showing and through text reader technology, visually impaired visitors can happily navigate your products and services. (for more information on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines and how to make your website "visible" to the blind, go to www.ada.gov).

You'll be amazed how taking few seconds extra to describe your image when uploading it will increase your rankings.

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