Use of graphics

Almost no modern site can do without graphic elements that make it more attractive. However, you should design your pages with care.

First, fill in the ALT attribute for the <IMG> tag. All images on the page can have “alternative text” set in the ALT attribute of the <IMG> tag. This attribute is useful for two reasons:

  • If for any reason a picture on the site page is unavailable, the text from the ALT attribute is displayed instead. It gives the user an idea about its content.

  • Information from this attribute helps the robot that indexes images for Yandex.Images. If the ALT text is specified, it is easier for the search engine to understand what the image is.

Secondly, duplicate the text presented in the picture. The Yandex robot can't yet recognize text in images, and the text of the ALT attribute doesn't get into the main index. So you shouldn't use images to replace text. If you need to use a graphic that shows text, duplicate what is written in the image with text. This will ensure that none of the information needed for correct ranking gets missed.

Things to consider when using graphics:

  • Graphic menu. A site menu made with images rather than texts lets the Yandex robot go to internal pages but offers no clue about what information they contain. If possible, provide an alternative text menu with links to the main sections of the site.

  • If the site is designed with Flash, also make a text version of the site. This is useful for users who don't have the Flash software installed or updated, for mobile device users, and for the Yandex robot that will be able to index your site fully and correctly. There are certain restrictions on indexing Flash (see the Site indexing section).

Note.

Don't replace text with images so that all necessary information could be indexed.

A few more tips to improve ranking in the image search:

  • If pictures illustrate the text, try to place them as close as possible to the part of the text they illustrate. If this isn't possible, add captions next to the picture.

  • The file names of the pictures should be meaningful (for example, not img_123456.jpg but beavers.jpg) and correspond to the content of the picture.

  • If there is a link to the image in the text, the text must also be meaningful (for example, not <a href="beavers.jpg">Figure 1</a> but <a href="beavers.jpg">Beavers in their natural habitat</a>).

  • Prohibit CAPTCHA and other automatically generated images (banners, graphs, trackers, graphic informers, and so on) from indexing in the robots.txt file.

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