A Small Phosphorescent Paint Detail

The importance of Alt Text

Among the many details that shine like phosphorescent paint in the dark web of the internet is the Alternative Text.

To put the point in a not so subtle manner, let’s say you are blind and wish to buy a pair of shoes online. Your computer knows how to read regular text out loud. But what about images? If the programmer has associated text with the image then your computer can speak to you, describing this or that pair of sneakers, water shoes or boots. No text, no voice, no reason to buy.

The blind person has a stake in this particular feature of website accessibility. 

Google and related search engines have a similar stake, and reward those who are diligent to connect image to text with better search rankings.

Alt Text does not attach to an image without the website designer adding the text. In Squarespace this is done within the description options associated with the text. You can display the text or hide it. Google sees the text either way.

Google wants to know what your website is all about, so that it can accurately place it in rank order and subject context. And that person, looking with their ears for the right pair of shoes wants to know what he or she might be looking at.  

Phosphorescent paint. Alt Text.