Alt Text

This is HTML attributes on images, links, forms, and other HTML tags. These are used to increase SEO by adding a description to various images, links, etc.

See Also:

SEO, Page Rank, Deep Linking, Linkage

The full form of ALT text is alternative text. Thai is meant to provide alternative or substitute text, principally when the image is not being displayed. Most of the web designer do mistake in not using it at all. And the other mistake is that providing a wrong description for the image, without bearing in mind what work the image was doing on the page. This results in the range from the incompatible to the ridiculous. The ALT text should be collected as an appropriate textual alternative for the image: sometimes that might turn out to be a description of the image.

Anyone who is familiar with web accessibility knows that images need alternative or ALT text assigned to it. This is due to the reason that screen readers can't understand images but rather read distinctly the alternative text assigned to the images. In Internet Explorer and Mozilla we can observe ALT text, just by mousing over the image and looking at the yellow tool tip that appears. The HTML for inserting ALT text is:

<img src="filename.gif" alt="description for the image"> 

Websites tend to diverge in how they use ALT text to logos. a number of them say, Company name or Company name logo and many describe the function of the image usually by linking back to the homepage,  as ALT text should always describe the content for the image so the first example that is alt="Company name", is most likely the best. And if the logo is a link back to the homepage then this can be efficiently communicated through the title tag. The alt characteristic is meant as an alternative or substitute to the image.

Writing valuable ALT text isn't too difficult. If the image is decorative then null alternative text, or alt="" should as a rule be used – and don’t try to delete the ALT attribute. If the image is containing text then the ALT text should only repeat this text,. It is very important to note that the ALT text should explain the content of the image and nothing more.

The important aspect of ALT text is that keep it as short and succinct as possible. This is not to make the surfing experience painful for screen reader users with bloated and unnecessary ALT text.

Significance of ALT Text

One of the major accessibility problems on the Web today is the scarcity of optional text for images and graphics. The blind individuals often use refreshable Braille devices that read the text on the page for them. When these assistive technologies come across images without alt text they are not able to communicate their meaning.

When a screen reader goes through an image with no alt attribute there are a couple of things that may happen:

Screen reader's behavior varies between brands of screen readers and the circumstances of the Web page itself but either way, the end result is disagreeable. The user either completely misses the image content or gets some text which may be meaningless.

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