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ALT tags best practice

Hi- One of our competitors has their roll-over navigation icons like this below.
I'd love to do the same, but I was told that image ALT tags shouldn't have more than a description of the picture, that this would be considered keyword stuffing. Opinions?


<table border=0 cellpadding=0 cellspacing=0><tr><td valign=top><a href="/view_all_meals" onMouseOut="ot(749)" onMouseOver="ov(749,'')" title="" alt="Meals - Food Delivery, Meal, Dinners, Food Gifts, Premade Meals, Buy Food, Prepared"><img name="i749" src="http://xxxx/749.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Meals - Food Delivery, Meal, Dinners, Food Gifts, Premade Meals, Buy Food, Prepared" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/combo_meals" onMouseOut="ot(209)" onMouseOver="ov(209,'')" title="" alt="Food Delivery  - Dinner Gift Baskets, Prepared Meals, Ready to Eat Meals, Food Online"><img name="i209" src="http:/xxxx/menu/209.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Food Delivery  - Dinner Gift Baskets, Prepared Meals, Ready to Eat Meals, Food Online" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/certificates" onMouseOut="ot(433)" onMouseOver="ov(433,'')" title="" alt="Meal Gift Certificates - Food Gift Delivery, Dinner Gifts, Same Day Delivery"><img name="i433" src="http://xxxx/menu/433.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Meal Gift Certificates - Food Gift Delivery, Dinner Gifts, Same Day Delivery" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/pasta" onMouseOut="ot(182)" onMouseOver="ov(182,'')" title="" alt="Pasta Meals - Gourmet Pasta Dinners Delivered, Pasta Gifts Online"><img name="i182" src="http://xxxx/menu/182.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Pasta Meals - Gourmet Pasta Dinners Delivered, Pasta Gifts Online" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/beef" onMouseOut="ot(200)" onMouseOver="ov(200,'')" title="" alt="Steak Meals - Steak Gift, Beef Dinner, Send Gourmet Steak, Beef Meals Online"><img name="i200" src="http://xxxx/menu/200.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Steak Meals - Steak Gift, Beef Dinner, Send Gourmet Steak, Beef Meals Online" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/poultry" onMouseOut="ot(206)" onMouseOver="ov(206,'')" title="" alt="Chicken Dinners -  Send Chicken Meals,  Chicken Dinner Gift"><img name="i206" src="http://xxxx/menu/206.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Chicken Dinners -  Send Chicken Meals,  Chicken Dinner Gift" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/seafood" onMouseOut="ot(203)" onMouseOver="ov(203,'')" title="" alt="Seafood Dinners Delivered - Prepared Meals Seafood, Gift Baskets Seafood"><img name="i203" src="http://xxxx/menu/203.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Seafood Dinners Delivered - Prepared Meals Seafood, Gift Baskets Seafood" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/live_lobster" onMouseOut="ot(224)" onMouseOver="ov(224,'')" title="" alt="Live Lobster Delivery | Send a Lobster Meal | Lobster Gifts - Free Shipping"><img name="i224" src="http://xxxx/menu/224.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Live Lobster Delivery | Send a Lobster Meal | Lobster Gifts - Free Shipping" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/pork" onMouseOut="ot(191)" onMouseOver="ov(191,'')" title="" alt="Pork Meals by Send a Meal .com | Pork Chop Dinner by Mail"><img name="i191" src="xxxxmenu/191.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Pork Meals by Send a Meal .com | Pork Chop Dinner by Mail" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/bbq" onMouseOut="ot(227)" onMouseOver="ov(227,'')" title="" alt="Send a BBQ Meal | Gourmet Bar B Que Delivered | Send BBQ Dinner"><img name="i227" src="http://xxxx/menu/227.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Send a BBQ Meal | Gourmet Bar B Que Delivered | Send BBQ Dinner" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/appetizers" onMouseOut="ot(427)" onMouseOver="ov(427,'')" title="" alt="Order Appetizers Online - Gourmet Appetizer Delivery & Party Appetizers"><img name="i427" src="http://xxxx/i/menu/427.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Order Appetizers Online - Gourmet Appetizer Delivery & Party Appetizers" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/soups1" onMouseOut="ot(430)" onMouseOver="ov(430,'')" title="" alt="Send a Soup | Gourmet Soup Delivery & Order Soup Online"><img name="i430" src="http://xxxx/menu/430.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Send a Soup | Gourmet Soup Delivery & Order Soup Online" border="0"></a></td></tr><tr><td valign=top><a href="/sides" onMouseOut="ot(230)" onMouseOver="ov(230,'')" title="" alt="Side Dishes | Meal Side Items"><img name="i230" src="http://xxxx/menu/230.gif"  width=140 height=18 title="" alt="Side Dishes | Meal Side Items" border="0"></a></td></tr></table>
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mel200
Asked:
mel200
1 Solution
 
COBOLdinosaurCommented:
Yes it is keyword stuffing, because they keep repeating the same key word phrases.  Google will degrade page rankings when it sees that.  Alt text is supposed to describe the image and its purpose for those with image disabled browsers and the visually impaired who use reader devices.
 
The alt attribute provides alternative information for an image if a user for some reason cannot view it (because of slow connection, an error in the src attribute, or if the user uses a screen reader)...w3shools.com

Alt can contain keywords, but the text must be relevant to the image.  Stuffing a bunch of keywords in there will get the page labeled as "spammy"  by Google.
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freshcontentCommented:
I would agree that what is being done here is over-the-top; too many keywords in one alt tag.

However, Google does rank images on both the alt tag, AND also on the words that appear around the image.  So, if you have words describing an image before and after the image, Google (& Bing) will try to use those words to provide a context for the image and rank/categorize the image accordingly.

Bottom line, I think that there is room for you to put a small number of keywords in an alt tag for an image, but NOT as many as you see in your example.  If this is not already penalized by Google & Bing, they will be working toward algorithmic ways of penalizing keyword stuffing like that.
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mel200Author Commented:
Thanks for the clear answer!
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