Anchor Text SEO variance

Having read the FAQ section, I know that anchor text is important. But what about having no text in the anchor?
On my site, I allow users to create graph images. They can then embed those images on their blog/website.
Example below :

<a href=""> 
   <img src="" title="Charting Application" alt="" />

The img src is what calls the image. The anchor gets called if they click on the image.

Do you guys know if this type of anchor helps at all with SEO? Is it beneficial in anyway? Any info would be appreciated.

I guess that brings up another good point. Will it be better for SEO if the Anchor points back to the site (static link) instead of the actual graph image(dynamic link)?

For users, I think its best how it is now. But what about for SEO, would a static domain link be best in the anchor?

Yes I dig the whole build for the user not for the SE’s part, but putting both tags it’s a little overdo for me. Mainly because I go many times with the build&forget method.

Ah so. Never thought about the user experience side of the thing only about the SEO factor :slight_smile:
But from the SEO side is there a benefit in using both on an image?

Always think about the user experience first. Do what you can to make your website a good website, and then think about search engines. There’s no point in getting to #1 in the search results if people take one look at your website and run away screaming.

(I’m not saying that you should build your site and then do the on-page SEO afterwards, that would be a daft way of doing it, but when you’re thinking about individual components within the construction, first of all think about whether it helps users, and then think about whether it helps search engines.)

To be honest, I wouldn’t bother with it (and I say that as someone who is very much pro accessibility and usability). Few, if any, browsers or assistive technologies offer an easy way to access the longdesc, so consequently very few surfers know about it, and only the tiniest proportion of websites use it.

If your image is so complex and essential that it needs further explanation for people who can’t see it (eg a graph or chart) then either describe it in the adjacent text, or put an ordinary link along the lines of <a href=“…”>Explanation of graph</a> - that way everyone can access it, without them needing to know the secret handshake.

Yes I understood when you first mentioned it, I just simply said that I see no point to use the title - attribute - tooltip thing. The alt attribute is enough.

It isn’t always necessary to use both alt and title, but they serve different purposes, so there may be reasons to use none, one or the other, or both, depending on the situation. Alt provides alternative text for user-agents that cannot render or read the image; title provides a tool-tip with additional information for when people mouseover the image.

Off Topic:

Pedantry: the alt text and title are attributes, not tags

If the contents of an anchor is an image, Google will consider the image’s alt text to be the contents, unless it looks like keyword stuffing, in which case it will spit on it.


Ah ok, I agree with you on this :slight_smile:

The alt text has to go on the <img> element, for obvious reasons.
It looks to me as though the title text relates to the image more than the link destination (although clearly they are closely linked), so it’s more appropriate on the image than the link.

It is worth using both a title and alt text where relevant - title gives you a tooltip in all graphical browsers, whereas alt only gives you a tooltip in broken ones.

Hm shoudn’t be the title tag used in the a href part and the alt tag in the img src part?
Is there a point to use both in calling the image?

Damn I haven’t heard about that longdesc yet. Thanks for the explanation…

welcome. It is not used much because people don’t know how to use it.

Makes sense. Thanks for the info.

It depends - sometimes you might want to give an extra description (either of the image or the link destination) for people using graphical browsers. You can’t rely on alt to do that, because it only does that in IE. I’m not saying that it’s useful all the time, or even most of the time, but it is useful some of the time.

ALT text is required for all images to be valid code, the alt text for a given image should provide as much information as possible. In the example, the alt text and the title text should actually be swapped. The way most screen readers work is they read alt text, then longdesc, then the title. The way search engines work, is they check the alt then title.

Q: Longdesc what is that?
A: Longdesc stands for long description, it allows extra room to explain difficult/complex images, such as charts.
Q: Should I use longdesc in all images to boost SEO aka keyword stuff?
A: Absolutely not. What should go in between the quotes of the longdesc attribute is actually a URL to a file (html or txt) containing only a longer description of the said image, no longer than a paragraph. If you need more than a paragraph to explain it, it is recommended that you just put the paragraph(s) on the page that the image is on because the general population may have difficultly interpreting that image.

True but what about Google? Will they say

  • This guy’s anchor link is appearing on different sites. His site goes up a notch!
  • There is no actual text in that anchor link, only an image, so I’ll ignore it.
  • Or will it be somewhere in between.

It’s beneficial to people who use screen readers or browse with images turned off.