The Big Split
Since the split mobile index has rolled out we’ve seen a few changes and fluctuations in our SERP ranking. We’ve also seen a few errors and notifications come through from our Search Console account, where Google has seen something, specifically on our mobile site, that needs a bit of a tweak.
One area where Google has seen a lot of mistakes being made is with Alt Tags. Google’s John Meuller pointed out on a recent Google Hangouts webinar, that lots of sites are missing Alt Tags on their mobile images. So, we thought it might be a good time to remind everyone what Alt Tags are, and how to best set them up.
Alt Tags Revisited
An Alt Tag is extra information you add to an image, so Google (or any other search engine) can understand what that image is about. Google is blind to the content of any image on your website. It knows that there’s an image there, and it can read the file name and file format. But beyond that, it knows nothing. So, to write a good Alt Tag you need to describe what is in the image. If your photo shows a man holding a banana on a summer’s day, your alt tag should be something like “man holding banana summer day”. Nothing more. Nothing less.
In the past alt tags have been used by less scrupulous SEO “experts” for keyword stuffing. This is the practice of putting a load of keywords you want your site to rank for in a hidden place. This is not a good idea. Not only is it black hat SEO, and therefore ethically dubious, you also run the risk of Google noticing and giving your website a penalty.
If you’re worried that this article might be relevant to your website, then log in to your search console account now and see if there are any things that have been flagged up for you to fix. Good SEO is all about doing lots of small things well, so while it might not seem like much, every little bit helps.