[whatwg] Please consider simplifying authoring guidance for the <img> alt attribute

Ashley Sheridan ash at ashleysheridan.co.uk
Mon Aug 2 11:54:41 PDT 2010

On Mon, 2010-08-02 at 17:19 +0200, Markus Ernst wrote:

> - search engines should generally ignore text in the alt attribute,
> but 
> evaluate the title attribute instead
> Rationale:
> says: "A corollary to this is that the alt attribute's
> value 
> should never contain text that could be considered the image's
> caption, 
> title, or legend. It is supposed to contain replacement text that
> could 
> be used by users instead of the image; it is not meant to supplement
> the 
> image. The title attribute can be used for supplemental information."

What you said doesn't make sense. The alt text is to be used instead of
the image, and the title is for supplemental content. Therefore, search
engines should use alt text, as that is what they are attempting to
convey in the lost (in the sense that search engines don't process
images like they do text) image. If they used the title, one can only
imagine the trouble.


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