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    Blank alt tags and their effect in regards to Google SERPs


    I have a site (currently sandboxed in Google, but doing nicely in Yahoo and MSN) which uses a lot of images (15 in total) as part the site layout that currently have blank alt tags like:

    <img src="/directory/file.gif" height="7" width="7" border="0" alt="">

    I've read a few posts that warn against the dangers of stuffing keywords into alt and title tags. My question is, what, if any, are the effects of leaving alt tags empty? Would I be better off changing them to keywords that are related to my website but not related to the actual image? Or should I put alt tags to describe the image such as "Left Corner" or "Right Border"?

    My hunch is I'm best off leaving them as they are, but I'd like to hear if anyone else has any knowledge on the subject?
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    In some cases, alt attributes are needed to make valid (xhtml) code... And if you don't want a popup hint on MSIE, then it'll have to be empty... Unless of course you (also) provide an empty title="" attribute!
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    mick.sawyer
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    Originally Posted by norfstar

    I've read a few posts that warn against the dangers of stuffing keywords into alt and title tags.
    Be careful what you read!
    Do your own research on things you read on forums before you act on them
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    Originally Posted by norfstar
    I have a site (currently sandboxed in Google, but doing nicely in Yahoo and MSN) which uses a lot of images (15 in total) as part the site layout that currently have blank alt tags like:

    <img src="/directory/file.gif" height="7" width="7" border="0" alt="">

    I've read a few posts that warn against the dangers of stuffing keywords into alt and title tags. My question is, what, if any, are the effects of leaving alt tags empty? Would I be better off changing them to keywords that are related to my website but not related to the actual image? Or should I put alt tags to describe the image such as "Left Corner" or "Right Border"?

    My hunch is I'm best off leaving them as they are, but I'd like to hear if anyone else has any knowledge on the subject?
    Leave them as they are. Keyword stuffing is keyword stuffing, whether it is in your body text or your alt tags. At least in your body text you have a good chance of actually ranking better for a while before your pages drop like a rock and you come to one of these boards wondering if sitewide links are being penalized. Keyword stuffing ALT tags makes no sense to me. The potential gain is miniscule and the downside big.

    Use keywords in the alt tags of your larger images. Leave the spacers and framing grphics empty, or us a . or - in them.

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