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From the author of Trick #8: Use Text Instead of Images

Trick #8: Use Text Instead of Images

It's important to know that today's generation of search engines parse only text content; they can't figure out what a picture or video or Flash animation is about, unless you describe it in the text. So if you use graphic buttons or banners (instead of plain text) to convey important information, the search engines simply won't see it. You need to put every piece of important information somewhere in the text of the page—even if it's duplicated in a banner or graphic.

So if you use images on your site, which you probably do, make sure that you use the <ALT> tag for each image—and assign meaningful keywords to the image via this tag. A searchbot will read the <ALT> tag text; it can't figure out what an image is without it.

Similarly, don't hide important information in Flash animations, JavaScript applets, video files, and the like. Remember, searchbots can only find text on your page—all those non-text elements are invisible to a search engine.

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