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Image Optimization: “Alt” Text vs “Title” Text

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Search engines aren’t capable of deciphering the text in an image just yet. When you upload an image to a website there are two extra fields called the “Alt Text” and the “Title”.
The “Alt Text” was created initially for the visually impaired so that their computer could translate what the image was about. For example, a photo of The Great Wall of China may have the Alt Text of “Great Wall of China in the summer”. Search engines then realized this was a great way to know what an image was about, and thus this is used to help is appear in searches for “Great Wall of China”. The rule of thumb here is to remember that this is meant to help blind readers understand an image, so focus on making it useful rather than loaded with keywords.
The “Title” text is an extra descriptor, designed to provide additional information for someone who CAN see the image. A great title text may be “Great Wall of China – Photo by Torin Houff August 2012”. This helps identify what they are looking at and tells them a little more detail about the photo. This has only minor impact on SEO, so just focus on great descriptions.
You don’t have to worry about optimizing photos that are posted to Facebook as these aren’t indexed by Google, just worry about the ones you post up to the website!

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