The world of SEO is one that evolves at the speed of light. SEO strategies come and go as search engines are continually updating their algorithms to promote the creation and discovery of ethical and quality content. Recently, the use of alt text for Google SEO has undergone some updates in terms of how its use will affect your page rank.
What is Alt Text?
Alt text by design is the alternative text included with images on a website. The use of alt text gives way to better user experience in multiple ways. If a site has slow load times or is not optimized for specific browsers or devices the alt text will appear in place of an image. More importantly, alt text is an accessibility tool. The alt text which is tagged with an image is what site users with vision disabilities will hear when using a screen reader, for example. When used properly, alt text should be a brief, and relevant description of an image’s contents as if you were on a phone call explaining what you are seeing to the person on the other line. Alt text quickly, however, became a favorite SEO strategy.
Use of Alt Text for SEO
Alt text is now frequently used in attempts to boost keywords and help a site’s page rank. Images that could be described in a few short words are including alt text jam packed with keywords and in depth descriptions such as exact location. Those who are keen on SEO know how much Google values keyword placement and got creative with the use of alt text all in the name of SEO. Google, however, has recently disproved the theory that alt text improves page rank on web searches.
How Does Google Actually Value Alt Text?
Google has come forward with the news that alt text will not improve web search page rank, only image search. So what does this mean for your SEO strategy? If you are using unique, original images and your site includes a gallery, alt text can still help your page rank greatly. Industries such as landscaping and interior design can still rely heavily on alt text to boost traffic as users are far more likely to search for them in an image search. On the contrary, users searching for an attorney are far less likely to search through images, thus making industries such as this far less reliant on alt text. As a whole, Google is urging users to create alt text to improve user interface, especially for disabled users.
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