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  1. #51
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Really? Based in the document flow of that particular site it would read as...

    Alt = Two pigs representing meat under localised export bans.

    Text below = Mexico argues there is no way of getting swine flu through eating pork
    and...

    Alt = Van's couriering mexicans in china to a homebound charter plane

    Text below = Chinese authorities are taking no risks with the quarantined Mexicans
    It made sense to me (as reading) but meh

  2. #52
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    If the image is a floated first child of the paragraph (which isn't unlikely), lynx will render it as,
    Two pigs representing meat under localised export bans. Mexico argues there is no way of getting swine flu through eating pork
    If the image is in a standalone block element preceding the paragraph there will be a line break between the sentences. In either case it looks like a non sequitur to me.

    If the image is wrapped in a heading, then it might work.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  3. #53
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexDawson View Post
    Well I might be tempted to put the following...

    Image 1 (The pigs)

    [..]

    Image 2 (The vans)

    [..]
    Those are descriptions, not text alternatives. You are saying what is in the photo, not conveying the same information via text. The pictures don't convey any information in themselves in that context, they are just decorative additions to the main text. Therefore, they should have empty alt text.

  4. #54
    om nom nom nom Stomme poes's Avatar
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    Man, recovering from a cold... : (

    Quote Originally Posted by devbanana
    In JAWS (which is what I use), it has an option to do that, but by default it reads the alt attribute and ignores it otherwise.

    The only time it'll read the URL is if the image is within a link. But if someone neglected to put in an alt attribute, it is often the case that the image has a cryptic name as well, so it reveals no more information about the target of the link.

    For instance, on this page, the five links after the logo have no alt attributes, so I hear something like this:


    Quote:
    Link graphic ss/sapphiresteel_pagegfx_r2_c4 On mouse over

    Luckily, not all of their links are like that.
    Pew, what nasty nasty code on that page! I was also thinking of every time I heard "link graphic" and didn't realise it was completely skipping empty alts if they weren't in a link. I grabbed one of my pages and filled with a bunch of images. I tried alt="nothing in English", alt="something in English" to get my bearings (it's very hard to listen to Dutch pages with an English-only machine) and then alt="" and no alt at all.

    I wonder, if I shell out the arm and the leg, if I can get JAWS to read in Dutch... my copy of 10 came without any languages at all, while 7 came with a few (but not Dutch). It mangles everything terribly, I can't tell where I am, and in the past have had to translate whole chunks of text to Engrish for JAWS testing : (

  5. #55
    In memoriam gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Schulz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ammuseo View Post
    it is important for seo
    How so? Especially given that they have little weight to begin with? They're an assistive device that provides a textual equivilent of the image for those who cannot see them. If the search engines are going to use the attribute (and they do), it'll be for determining the relevance of the image to the content that surrounds it and (as Tommy already said) image searches.

    Besides, even Google's own Matt Cutts says to use the attribute the way it was intended "and not for SEO purposes" if you really want to optimize the IMG element (and its alt="" attribute) for the search engines.

  6. #56
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy Stormrider's Avatar
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    I would have thought alt text would be given the same weight as the text around it, for SEO purposes (ie, pretty low weight in most cases). That is the whole point of it after all!

  7. #57
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    It should be, but since it was spammed to death early on, I thing search engines regard the alt attribute with some scepticism.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  8. #58
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    http://www.sitepoint.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598894
    Not if the alt attribute says the same as the text in the image. (I've had it verified by someone at Google that Google views alt attributes in links pretty much the same as plain text.)
    I as well have heard the same thing and come to believe it...

  9. #59
    SitePoint Enthusiast AmateurNight's Avatar
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    My two cents worth:

    Alt attributes should be filled in with a proper description that hopefully contains yuur keywords for two reasons. One is that it will help search engines get to know what your page is about and the second is that it will help your image get indexed in images sites like google images. Traffic, you know.

  10. #60
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    And the consequence that screen reader users, mobile users, dial-up users and others are subjected to completely irrelevant rubbish doesn't bother you at all?
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  11. #61
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    And the consequence that screen reader users, mobile users, dial-up users and others are subjected to completely irrelevant rubbish doesn't bother you at all?
    I am in agreeance with you regarding alt attributes. I would think it is appropriate to leave 'decorative' images with empty alt attributes.

    An example of a good time to use alt attributes is when using an inline image heading:
    Code HTML4Strict:
    <h2><img src="heading.gif" width="70" height="14" alt="About"></h2>
    With large scaled sites as you already know using css to declare background images can become rather messy and bulk the css file up.

  12. #62
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmateurNight View Post
    Alt attributes should be filled in with a proper description that hopefully contains yuur keywords for two reasons. One is that it will help search engines get to know what your page is about and the second is that it will help your image get indexed in images sites like google images. Traffic, you know.
    Why not just fill your whole page with such garbage so that everyone gets to see how little you know about the web instead of just those who don't see the images getting the garbage.

    Anything you don't want anyone to see that you are trying to use for your misguided black hat SEO efforts MUST go in the head of the page.
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
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    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  13. #63
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    Use the new Dreamweaver; it always prompts me when I place images on the pages I'm creating. That way, I never forget.

  14. #64
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    And for people who use readers just to add accessability...

  15. #65
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    alt tags are picked up by search engines so well worth including. Not sure about decoration but it should still work as I doubt spiders are able to determine what the image is actually about?

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by itouch resumes View Post
    alt tags are picked up by search engines so well worth including.
    For the umpteenth time: there is no such thing as an <alt> tag. It's an attribute. Say after me: a-t-t-r-i-b-u-t-e.

    Quote Originally Posted by itouch resumes View Post
    Not sure about decoration but it should still work as I doubt spiders are able to determine what the image is actually about?
    Worst. Advice. Ever.

    Do you really think it's fair to sacrifice the usability for some users just to attract undeserved traffic to your spammy site? If you can't get visitors with organic content, attracting them with fake text equivalents of decorative images isn't the way to go.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  17. #67
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    For the umpteenth time: there is no such thing as an <alt> tag. It's an attribute. Say after me: a-t-t-r-i-b-u-t-e.
    Techically there is an alt tag, though its not called alt, its called noscript

  18. #68
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    That doesn't give alternative content for images, though. Only for scripts.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  19. #69
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Yes I know that Tommy, I was just trying to be humerous!

  20. #70
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    I know. I was just stating the obvious in case some unsuspecting beginner stumbles over this thread sometime in the future.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane


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