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Does Google index the longdesc attribute?

Posted on 2007-11-20
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
I run a web comic (http://www.twistedpeel.com/) and I want to index the site properly in Google but the majority of the content is currently images. I want to include a transcription of the text but white-on-white text and hidden <div> are big no-nos for Google, and would potentially result in the site being struck off for 30 days.

I am considering using the longdesc attribute but I have not been able to get a definitive answer as to whether Google indexes longdesc.
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Question by:inqude
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Expert Comment

by:humeniuk
ID: 20320658
You're looking for ways to stuff keywords onto your pages to influence Google.  Don't do it.  The only result you will get is a negative one.

Websites with content that is primarily graphics - such as yours - limit your ability to do on-page optimization.  You need to be very careful about getting around that.  The best bet is to accept it and focus on the elements that you can legitimately focus on.  The most significant on-page ranking factor (and one of the two most important overall), for example, are page titles.

The second of the two most important factors is incoming links, ie. an off-page factor.  When dealing with a site like this, proper link-building becomes even more important than it already is.

Take a look at the SEO tutorial at www.seo-blog.com/tutorial.php.  It expands on these concepts and will also give you a better idea of what else you can focus on to optimize your site.
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Author Comment

by:inqude
ID: 20320735
I understand what you are saying but, in this case, I feel that what I want to do is completely legitimate. I have dialogue on the cartoons, and all I want to do is allow Google to read that dialogue.

Is Google likely to take a dim view of that, though? It seems a bit harsh if that is the case.
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Accepted Solution

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humeniuk earned 250 total points
ID: 20320960
The appropriate place to provide 'alternative text' for images that convey information is the alt attribute - www.seo-blog.com/alt-tag.php.  The longdesc attribute is for longer descriptions (if legitmately required).

Are the contents of these tags considered?  Yes, but not with as much emphasis as body content, which itself is of more limited relevance than most people think.  Under the circumstances, using these tags to convey the dialogue in the cartoons would likely be considered appropriate and not raise any problems with Google.  The key is to make sure your descriptions are accurate and relevant.

Just don't expect the tags to impact your rank in the search results in any meaningful way.  To do that, you need to follow the steps outlined in my post above.

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