The October 6 episode of Search Off The Record is all about Image SEO. When it comes to Image SEO, the first thing that comes to mind is the alt text and the importance of filling it in with details about the image.
As we have always said in our Image SEO articles, SEO crawlers do not have eyes and they get to understand an image through the Alt text, which is why it is a very important aspect of image optimization. This applies not only for SEO but also for those visually impaired or those who use screen readers.
And in this podcast, Mueller provides confirmation of the importance of the alt text by saying that “any alt text is better than nothing”. This is in response to the topic of sites having a lot of images and how to get started with Image SEO. John stated that if you are adding alt text for the first time, then sometimes, even any alt text is better than nothing.
But what if you want to fully optimize your images for search? What content should be added in the alt text?
Mueller recommends, from an SEO point of view, to provide context for the image as well in the alt text because ultimately, when you're talking about Image Search, it's not that people want an image, but rather they want information which is attached to that image. They want to understand a specific topic to find some information and that additional context is something that you can provide in the alt text. That's something that they might be searching for and if they're searching for it, then make it easy for them to find that.
Check out the Image SEO episode of Search Off The Record here.