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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 11:13 am    Post subject: alt tags Reply with quote

Hi! My website is almost finished, but I've just discovered that my webmaster has put the heading as an image, which I understand won't be picked up by search engines. He says that, because he has used alt tags, thay weill work just as well.

Can anyone tell me if this is correct?

Thanks,

Pauline
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
Posts: 3931
Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My understanding is that this is absoutely incorrect. Alt tags may have some slight bearing, but nothing like the importance of the heading on your homepage.
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Martha



Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 2202
Location: Chamonix

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Paolo is right....Is the first text on your page the same as the heading text? Or is all the important text in graphical form?

Do you have it anywhere we can see?
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
Posts: 1902
Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 3:52 pm    Post subject: alt tags Reply with quote

I'll put it on here. It isn't completely finished yet, as the apartment isn't ready, but have a look at it.

www.spainbeachapartment.eu
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Big Sis..



Joined: 19 Feb 2007
Posts: 8087
Location: Torrevieja and Norfolk

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Pailiner

As you know I know nothing about the Tech side but the site looks great...Well Done... Very Happy .
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
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Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:03 pm    Post subject: alt tags Reply with quote

Thanks for your kind remarks, Ros, but all I did was the text and take some of the photos.

Now I'm just hoping that the techie stuff can be sorted out. My poor web chappy is ringing his hands over it.

Pauline
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 3263
Location: Burgundy, France

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a topic near and dear to me, since my site uses an image header.

That was a difficult decision for me, since, as Paolo says, an alt tag is not the same as text between header tags. (As an aside, I wonder if the alt text would have more weight if the image itself was within a header tag?)

With my property site, I was trying to create a feeling of relaxation, comfort, and a slight touch of elegance. I wanted to make the potential client feel taken care of on every page of the site. I felt the font used in the page title would be a major contributor to that ambiance, and none of the fonts I wanted to use would be anywhere near standard on a potential client's computer.

So I finally did decide to use the image header, but I also added some text right at the top of the page which contains plenty of search engine keywords. It probably doesn't make up all the lost ground, but it's a compromise I can live with. After all, the page header is just one piece of the SEO puzzle.

We still get inquiries from people who have found our website directly. Smile

P.S. - Nice site! It's great that you have a text-only version. Be sure that it does link back to the main site, of course, since depending on the way it's done, it might actually do better from an SEO standpoint than the graphic-intensive site.
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garlic



Joined: 23 Aug 2005
Posts: 132
Location: Tarn

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know nothing about this stuff so probably should be keeping my mouth shut but why can't you have a header over the image using the words you wish but make the colur the same colour as the background/or with no colour so it's not visible but still exists. Or is that just not allowed?
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
make the colour the same colour as the background/or with no colour so it's not visible but still exists.


This is a really good question -- good that you asked.

Others who have more expertise will also chime in, but I believe that Google frowns upon that idea, so much so that you can be heavily penalized for making links and text the same color as the background. I definitely wouldn't risk it.
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do sometimes use an image for the heading, if I am trying to aim the page at a particular audience and I think that will really help.

Hiding text by making it the same colour as the background is supposed to be the most basic error you can commit in SEO. But is it always punished? Conventional wisdom says maybe not today but eventually, yes. I listed a property with internationalrentals.com and was amazed to discover hidden text on the bottom of my ad. They said it wasn't hidden text, the designers has just decided to make the text the same colour as the background - see, not hidden at all. They have stopped doing it now, and presumably because they didn't want to anger Google.
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Topcat



Joined: 08 Sep 2006
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Location: Isla Canela, Costa de la Luz

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 10:21 pm    Post subject: alt tags etc. Reply with quote

Thanks for all your helpful comments.

This is what we've tried now. I'll put it on the correct thread for comments, but still in line with the previous discussion, do you think this will get over my original problem?

www.spainbeachapartment.eu

Regards,

Pauline
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vrooje



Joined: 09 Dec 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say yes to that! I think that's a good idea.

Now, though, I wonder if the alt text for the image should be changed... so that Google doesn't think you're repeating yourself?
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mpprh



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
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Location: Languedoc, France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi

well, as with all SEO questions, the answer is we don't know - and it changes, anyway !

SEO experts talk of up to 100 variables being considered in establishing the search positions.

Alt text is certainly used, but is generally considered to have a minor role.

However, this website index page ( http://www.languedoc-france.info ) , has around 90% alt text, 10% normal text. This week, it has moved from No2 to No1 (out of 42m references) for this search.

Something for me to look at !

Peter
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paolo



Joined: 17 Jun 2004
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Location: Provence, France

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mpprh wrote:
However, this website index page ( http://www.languedoc-france.info ) , has around 90% alt text, 10% normal text. This week, it has moved from No2 to No1 (out of 42m references).

It's interesting that every piece of text or Alt tag on the page mentions the word Languedoc, and there is no actual information on the page. I think SEO 'experts' would say that this has temporarily hit the number 1 spot.
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mpprh



Joined: 14 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="paolo"]
mpprh wrote:
I think SEO 'experts' would say that this has temporarily hit the number 1 spot.


Unfortunately not so !

He has been No1 on google.co.uk and No2 on google.com for 12 months, until this week. (The difference between .com & .co.uk could be because it is hosted in UK). I'm in touch with the webmaster - he will be very happy !

Peter
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