Alt Tags

An alt tag is the text used to explain what an image is displaying and is useful for both search engines and users, as it provides a better understanding of the image. There are several factors to consider to ensure alt text is optimized and follows best practice formats, these are explored in our Hangout Notes, along with recommendations from Google.

Use Alt Tags as Anchor Text when Linking with Images

August 9, 2019 Source

When using links within images, make sure the alt attribute is being used in order to provide the anchor text that you want associated with the link.


Google Uses Alt Attribute as Part of Anchor For Linked Images

July 9, 2019 Source

For linked images, Google sees the alt attribute as a descriptive part of the page it is on, but it is also used as part of the anchor for the page the image is linking to.


Alt Text Helps Google Understand Pages Beyond Image Search

November 13, 2018 Source

Text in the alt attribute of images is seen as text on the page and can help Google better understand the page a little bit better beyond image search. However, the text in the alt attribute will likely be somewhere on the page anyway.


Check Alt Text is Present on Mobile Version of Images

October 5, 2018 Source

John recommends checking that the alt text is present for the mobile version of images for mobile-first indexing. This is something Google has seen missing from sites that serve different content on mobile.


Data-alt Attributes Have No Impact on Image Search or Regular Search

May 15, 2018 Source

With regard to images, data-alt attributes are used more for lazy-loading and giving other information for images from scripts, but this isn’t used for indexing in any way.


Linked Image Alt Text Acts as Anchor Text

July 7, 2017 Source

Add alt text to image links as these act as anchor text, including on mobile pages.


Alt Text is Included as Part of the On-page Text

June 27, 2017 Source

Alt text is shown when images are turned off in a browser and counts as part of the on-page text.


Add Alt Text and Embed Images on Mobile Sites in Preparation for Mobile-First

June 27, 2017 Source

Google’s Mobile-first team has noticed many sites don’t include alt text for images on mobile sites. John recommends checking that alt text exists for images when checking sites are ready for the switch to Mobile-first indexing as well as making sure images are embedded so they can still appear in Image search.


Add Images to Sitemap to Provide Google With More Information

May 2, 2017 Source

Images can be added for each page of your site within your sitemap along with captions and alt-tags using special sitemap extensions.


Related Topics

Structured Data Titles & Descriptions