[thelist] re alt tags google vs accessability

Mike Migurski mike at saturn5.com
Mon Mar 3 02:21:01 CST 2003

>it seems to me that we have a choice - search rankings that make sense in
>google OR alt tags that make sense for sight-disabled or
>"images-turned-off" users. And these two aims seem mutually exclusive.
>Any ideas?

I think the idea behind alt attributes is to provide a text-alternative
for any accessing agent (human or machine) that is unable to use the image
data, but not for a specific purpose. So Google's usage seems correct, and
the blind-viewer thing is a nice side benefit.

Your example of the site logo / link to home has a fairly simple solution
- the alt text should be whatever the textual content of the image is
("company logo" or "company", for example, not "company logo and link to
home"), and you should also provide a "home" navigation link someplace
else on the page, perhaps on the main navigation or near it.

The site logo = link to home is a popular convention, but only works for
sighted users, since only they see the visual prominence of the logo.
I'm not so sure that it exists as a convention for non-sighted users.
(anyone?) The link-to-homeness of the site logo isn't really inherent in
the logo, so it should probably stay out of the alt attribute as well.

michal migurski- contact info and pgp key:

                "Freedom! Horrible, horrible freedom!"

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