What is the ALT Attribute?

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ALT Attribute

What is the ALT Attribute?

ALT Attribute

The ALT attribute or ALT label is an HTML attribute for a text that describes an image. The ALT attribute is placed directly on the image tag. If an image cannot be displaying for some reason, the ALT attribute provides alternate text to say instead.

What is the ALT Attribute for?

Search engines use this attribute to find image content, as search engine crawlers cannot read image files. It is also helpful to provide alternative text for users and specifically for visually impaired users who have websites read by reader programs.

What is the ALT Attribute like?

The ALT attributes appear on the screen instead of images and graphics that can not display. With the conventional use of a website, the features are not visible. Alt attributes can only be seen when accessing a website’s source code or with the appropriate tools. If the part is correctly integrated, it accurately defines the image content and in few words. For text graphics, that specific text should also be embedded in the ALT attribute. All other images must have an appropriate description that is useful to Internet users and indicates the image’s content to search engines.

For the user, this benefits if an image cannot be displayed, a specific description of the image is available instead. It is also similar from a search engine perspective. Googlebot still cannot read the image files. Requires additional information to identify the content of the image. ALT attributes are also useful under the heading of web accessibility. They allow visually impaired Internet users to text the ALT attribute read to them by a reader. Therefore, the images will be “visible” to people with poor eyesight.

Reasons why images are not displayed correctly

There may be several causes why images are not displaying.

  • Due to an Old Browser: Confident types of browsers cannot deduce specific image files.
  • Tracking Protection: Some browsers, such as Internet Explorer, offer superior tracking protection; When activated, some images are not displaying correctly.
  • Image Display is Disabled: Search Engines such as Mozilla Firefox offer users the option not to display image files.
  • Default link to an image file: If the browser cannot display an image, it may be due to an incorrect URL from the image source. These errors can occur, for example, if the image index on the server has been moved or retitled.

Internet Explorer 7 presented the ALT attribute as a tooltip. Therefore, it was often misused in other browsers as a helper tool. But, that function belongs to the title tag, assuming you intend to use valid HTML.

Importance for SEO

For SEO, the ALT tag plays a vital role for both the user and the search engine as Googlebot content. If the ALT attribute is displayed without browser support, the website’s usability will not be affected. Through the substitute text, the user can see what should be rendered. For search engines, ALT tags provide important indications about the content of the image, especially the website’s context.

ALT tag optimization

Generally, it is suggested to use the main keyword of a website for the ALT attribute to improve the keywords’ focus. At the same time, the script should be an accurate description of the image’s content. However, the ALT attribute should not be used to fill in keywords, as Google and other search engines have classified it as spam. The keywords used in the ALT-Tag improve the positioning in the search for images. Therefore, optimizing ALT attributes is an essential part of the SEO image and contributes to the sustainable optimization of web pages.


The operator of an informative blog about cats integrates the image of an exceptional cat. The site URL is mycatwebsite.com/cats-with-big-ears. The idea is integrated like this in the blog:

The content of the URL can reinforce the purpose of the keyword. In the realm of image SEO, the file data should not be underrated. It also plays a role in the heaping time and, therefore, the website’s performance.

The ALT attribute can also be used to rank high in image search and get more visitors to your website.

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