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Re: alt tabs in the news

From: Kynn Bartlett <kynn-edapta@idyllmtn.com>
Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2001 07:55:48 -0700
Message-Id: <a05010401b6fcc2911d2a@[]>
To: "Robert Neff" <rneff@bbnow.net>, "wai-ig list" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
At 8:16 AM -0500 4/13/01, Robert Neff wrote:
>Here is an article ina newsletter that is real good and gives stats.  Don
>forget to remind everyone there is another reason to use alt tags and that
>is to increase your rankings in the search engines!

There is a bit of a danger here, though.  It's always important to
caution people not to do "keyword stuffing" in alt text.  The article
cited above is relatively good in that they used alt text which was
actually human-comprehensible instead of a string of words (although
they were LONG in what they had as alt text), but often people who
learn that alt attributes are read by search engines will fill the
alt text with long strings of words.

Such as:

   <img src="k.gif" alt="Kynn, Liz, Bartlett, Tibetan Mastiffs,
        Accessibility, Idyll Mountain Internet, HTML Writers Guild,
        Reef, Edapta, Comics, Writing, XSLT, XML, Resume, Not Looking
        for a Job, Fullerton, San Diego, California, Speaking" />

Of course such a list of keywords should go in meta elements, but
many people looking for that "extra edge" will stuff keywords into
alt text, into normal text (in the same color of the background
color, at the end of the page), etc.

So, caution is necessary when telling people that alt text is read
by search engines.

Kynn Bartlett <kynn@idyllmtn.com>
Received on Friday, 13 April 2001 11:06:45 UTC

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