12 July 2007

Do I use Alt or Title Tags?

Alternative (alt) tags are to be used to describe images. The alt tag tells the screen reader used by visually impaired individuals how to describe an image. With images, you might have alt="all our products" title="from left to right all our products are listed." On mouse over the title will show, in a speech browser or text only browser the user would see "all our products."

Title tags may be used with links. The title tag displays when you mouse over the link, thus providing more information about the link. You may use the title tag to let the person know what is coming next; for example, "click here will take you to our website" would display on mouse over. This does not mean you should not use your keywords with your link.

Both alt and title tags are visible to the search engines. Search engines need the alt tag to see an image. Search engines use the alt tag and the graphic name, i.e., mydog.gif, to categorize images.

Do not, I repeat, do not use the same keywords in your title or alt tags. Use only what you need to help people navigate your site. Keyword stuffing is black hat SEO and will get you banned from search engines. Alt and title tags are all about accessibility, with a nod given to SEO.


kuanyin333 said...

Hey CC: would you like to guest blog on my blog Blog-Blond? You have lots of good info which my readers would like to read.

barbi bharadwaj said...


Nice thought upon the two attributes. Forget links, these tow tags are more important for a image or a video. A bot looks for the alt text first in the image.

If you are interested in bringing some traffic from google images, you must include alt tags, not title tags.

kuanyin333 said...

Hey, it's me again...the reason I asked is because you have lots of good blog info which I thought you might like to share with my readers. Not going anywhere soon. Mahalo for following up. It's posts like this which gave me the idea.

Anonymous said...

If you want a truly accessible site and want it to be officially verified you MUST use title and alt tags. Keyword stuffing is a big no no but the occasional keyword would probably be ok.

CyberCelt said...

@kuanyin-Sure, let me know what you want and I can put something together. My email is shown on all my blogs in .gif form. Send me an email about what you want to share.

@barbi-Thanks for stopping by and commenting. You are the best!

@tricia-Hey, thanks for visiting. I am talking about the URL title attribute, do you use it?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this information. I actually hadn't ever thought of the alt tag being used for assisting those who can't see in seeing the pictures when I was first learning HTML. Now I realize the importance of it. I didn't know that search engines looked into alt tags too. That's very handy.

Sephyroth said...

Hi, I'm reading via the Bumpzee US Blogs Community RSS feed. :)

I tend to use title more often than alt; however I've seen that most sites still use alt more than title because that's what's supported in IE - however, in Firefox, you need to get an extension to see the alt text (or just view the image properties, it's the bottom line.

Not only are the alt tags useful for the bots, but there might be some folks still using Lynx and I believe that the alt tags show up in there as well...


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