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How To Build Links, Traffic & Conversions



The advent of the internet gave travel companies a whole new avenue for exposure.

Where once you may have had to rely on outdated brochures, grainy photos, or (worst of all) Uncle Gary’s boring slide show about his trip to Bermuda, now anyone can create, curate, and share photos, videos, and stories from their vacation in seconds.

And while this is great for exposing people to lesser-known attractions and must-see destinations, it has also created massive competition for web traffic.

You can’t post yet another image of someone propping up the Leaning Tower of Pisa or recreating the cover of Abbey Road and expect to attract visitors.

To stand out in an over-saturated field, you need to find a way to separate your content from everyone else, drive traffic, and capture the eyeballs of your targets.

And ad-hoc blog posts just aren’t going to cut it. You need a content strategy.

Not sure what that is? Maybe you have a vague idea but no clue where to get started when it comes to creating one?

Or just want to brush up on the essentials and polish your existing content strategy? You’re in the right spot.

In this piece, we’ll dive deep into developing a content plan of attack for your travel business and equip you with the knowledge you need. Let’s get started.

How To Get Started

If this is your first time developing a content strategy, the task may seem overwhelming, and you may be unsure where to start.

Take a deep breath; creating a great travel content strategy is easier than you think.

The best place to get started is at the beginning. And that means assessing where you currently stand to make the right decisions about what to do next.

For example, if you’re a small site with no links, starting your content production focused on long posts that target highly competitive keywords probably isn’t the best approach.

Likewise, if you’re well-established and have a strong link profile, creating content purely for generating links might not be the best investment of your time.

To decide where your time is best spent, you should decide on your priority.

Do you want your content to attract new links? Or do you want to focus on driving traffic by ranking for phrases in Google?

If you’re a brand new site or have a small link profile, I recommend focusing on content for links first.

If you are well-established and already have a decent link profile, you can probably move straight into creating content for traffic.

So, how do we approach those two things?

Strategizing For Links

Google’s search algorithm values quality links to your site.

But what if you’ve just launched your website or been running it for a while, but you don’t have many incoming links? The answer is obvious: You need to acquire some links.

Once you’ve created content that accomplishes this, you can then develop the type of content that generates traffic.

These two things working in conjunction will give you a much better chance of ranking well and attracting traffic, but more on that later.

In the meantime, let’s look at some different approaches to creating content that attracts links to your site.

Make Them Refer To You

If there is one thing bloggers love, it’s statistics.

Creating pages on your site that cover key statistics relating to the travel industry is a great way to pick up links over time when journalists or bloggers are looking for sources to reference.

This might be a list of the key statistics relating to travel in Greece, a page based on family travel numbers, or a list of Southern California’s most popular tourist destinations.

If you have the stats, someone will need them.

This isn’t a quick win that will get you lots of links fast, but if you create enough of them, they can build a sterling link profile over time.

Don’t Forget Your Studies

A more immediate way to get links is by researching and creating studies highlighting new findings.

This is a classic PR play that gives you new material to pitch to journalists that can get you coverage and links on top-tier sites.

If it’s seen by the right people interested in your new findings, you can start seeing the links roll in almost immediately.

This can be done by small companies on a budget by combining existing datasets to create new results.

For example, this piece we created for a client was featured on Lonely Planet, the Independent, and various other top-tier publications.

Be A Resource

Note: This is not creating resource pages!

There are lots of quality resource pages out there that list the best articles on a certain topic. To get featured on them, you need a resource worth linking to.

Fortunately, you can create one and then pitch it!

There is no one approach for this, though using the quality of the pieces already on the page should be a good guide. This guide breaks down one process of creating one.

In travel, this could be things like pages linking to the best guides about destinations.

Opportunities can also lie in more niche areas like guides to accessible travel in a particular location. If it’s useful and linkable, it can serve as a resource, which means links.

Try Your Hand At Podcasting

Creating a quality podcast worth its salt takes time and effort, but by doing so, you’re creating a truly linkable asset.

A quality podcast, particularly in a unique niche, will help you stand out.

Not to mention the amount of content out there highlighting “the best podcasts for XYZ” offers a huge opportunity for picking up natural links.

Other benefits include:

  • Establishing yourself as a thought leader.
  • Connecting with influencers.
  • Establishing potential partnerships.

And so much more.

Roundup What’s Happening In Travel

An oldie but still one that can offer huge value if executed correctly is the roundup, a.k.a. “what’s happening in (blank)” posts.

This allows you to connect with key people, and if you choose wisely, you may find people to include with press pages on their own sites.

Referencing them will often lead to links from the people who have been featured.

Loads of fantastic new travel content are being shared daily, so you should never be short of inspiration on what to include.

Once you’ve created enough posts for link building and picked up some momentum, it’s time to move on to your content for traffic.

Plan For More Traffic

Okay, we’ve got the strategy for generating links sorted. Now let’s move on to developing the type of content that will drive traffic.

When you reach this stage, following the process below should give you a good structure for creating content that succeeds in increasing your search visibility.

Audience Personas Are A Great Help

Audience personas get a bad rap, but if you keep it simple and use them correctly, they can help you devise a content strategy that reaches the right people.

They exist mainly to create a clear picture of who you’re targeting with your marketing.

This doesn’t have to mean all the bells and whistles of names, job descriptions, and hair colors. It can simply be a prompt to identify who might buy your product or be an amplifier for your business.

If you come up with a few personas with loose descriptions, you can use this to guide what content they want.

We’ve found this particularly useful in identifying our clients’ shoulder interests.

In other words, just because we’re marketing for travel companies doesn’t mean the audience is only interested in travel.

So, why not create content that caters to those shoulder interests, too? This lets you get in front of the audience and feed them into the travel element.

Keyword Research Pays Off

You’ve thought about who the audience is, and now it’s a case of identifying the things they search for the most. It’s time to dive into keyword research.

Follow a process like this to identify the phrases with the best volume, but don’t neglect the wider opportunities available.

You shouldn’t think about the top five or even 10 phrases you want to rank for.

Instead, you should consider all the phrases relevant to you and your product or service.

In travel, this funnel is huge because there are so many areas that people research before making a booking.

This might be the best time to visit a place, what to do in a location, or simply details about individual attractions.

You shouldn’t move on until you’re satisfied you’ve covered everything that could be involved in that journey.

Know What You Have

Once you’ve identified all the phrases relevant to you, it’s time to see if you’ve covered them already.

Perform a content audit and cross-reference the keyword research with your current rankings and identify content that needs to be created, improved, or updated.

Group Things Together

Once you know what content you already have and need to create, it’s time to start prioritizing what to work on first.

Focusing on topic clusters is a great way to do this because it will help you build out sections of the website which rank well more quickly.

You can do this by taking your keyword research and categorizing it into different topics.

Sometimes, multiple keywords can be targeted with one post, while others will be on the same topic but require a post of their own.

For example, you might have a post about “the best time to visit the Maldives,” but the keyword research also highlights that “The Maldives in November” also warrants a page in itself.

Once you’ve broken that down for all relevant phrases in your keyword research, you should create all the posts in one topic area first, rather than randomly picking posts across different topics.

This will create a good cluster for you and make all the content relevant, consistent, and well-supported. We’ll dive more into the writing process in just a bit.

You can then roll this out across different topic areas until you’ve covered all your key areas.

Build A Solid Content Structure

Once you know which pages you will create, it’s time to start creating them.

The first thing to consider is structure and making sure you use the best possible URLs and folder structure.

You don’t want to change this down the line, so ensuring it’s as optimized as possible the first time is key.

We usually use the main target phrase for the page as the URL slug.

Once you’ve created all the pages within a particular cluster, you also want to ensure they are linked together well. Ideally, this will be in a structured way rather than doing it ad-hoc in links within the content.

A table at the start or end of the posts that links to all other pages within that cluster clearly shows Google they all belong together.

Keep An Eye On On-Page Factors

Finally, it’s time for the writing itself.

Make sure you use the right structure and any particular keywords you’re targeting with the article.

We analyze the pages ranking on page one of search engine results for our target keyword and then pull together the header structure of those pieces to amalgamate into one ultimate post that covers everything.

Incorporate elements like a good header structure, external links, and a table of contents at the start for longer posts where necessary.

Create Content That Converts

Many people forget when creating a content strategy that the pages actually do the selling!

If you spend all your time and effort driving more people to your site with content but don’t update the text on key pages to help convert those visitors into customers, all your efforts were for naught.

Tell Them Who You Are

People who find you further down the marketing funnel might decide they’re interested in your offering and want to learn more.

Where do they go?

The About Us page, of course.

Make sure that when you’re putting all your efforts into writing content, you spend some time on your About page (including creating one if you haven’t already!).

Make sure it drives home all your key messages and feeds people one step closer to making a purchase.

You compete against many huge brands in travel, so you must get people to trust you immediately.

One way to do this is to include signals like which publications you’ve been recommended in, testimonials from existing customers, and links to review sites.

Something To Remember You By

Some people aren’t quite ready to enquire or buy right now.

How can you make sure these people see you again?

With content, of course!

Create downloadable assets that your audience will be interested in and ask for their email address in exchange for the content.

Once you have that email, you can nurture the relationship through activities like remarketing.

Creation Is Just A Start

Another important but often forgotten part of the content strategy process is reviewing, testing, and monitoring how it performs.

It’s possible to create something that performs well straight out of the box by following the processes above, but there will always be areas you can improve.

Identify these by:

  • Monitoring how well different pages are ranking.
  • Updating them to push them forward further.

Likewise, with conversion content, you can test different approaches and see what works best in converting visitors to the site.

You will reach a point in the production process where going back and updating older content may be more effective than simply rolling out more and more new pages.

This is especially true in travel, where destinations change, trends move, and up-to-date information is crucial.

Key Takeaways

As you can probably tell, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating a content strategy.

Even though they’re both in the same industry, a tour company specializing in Southeast Asia’s content approach will be quite different from a Caribbean snorkeling guide company or even another tour company with a more general approach, for that matter.

Your content strategy will be as unique as your business.

One commonality among all successful content plans, regardless of industry, is their emphasis on addressing weaknesses and prioritizing accordingly.

Be honest with yourself and put in the work upfront. This will not only save you headaches down the road, but it will generate the kind of results you’re looking for.

And never forget: Your goal is to generate traffic and then convert it.

Keep that in mind, follow the tips listed here, and you’ll be sure to set your travel company up for digital success.

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Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock

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Google Discusses Fixing 404 Errors From Inbound Links




Google Discusses Fixing 404 Errors From Inbound Links

Google’s John Mueller responded to a thread in Reddit about finding and fixing inbound broken links, offering a nuanced insight that some broken links are worth finding and fixing and others are not.

Reddit Question About Inbound Broken Links

Someone asked on Reddit if there’s a way to find broken links for free.

This is the question:

“Is it possible to locate broken links in a similar manner to identifying expired domain names?”

The person asking the question clarified if this was a question about an inbound broken link from an external site.

John Mueller Explains How To Find 404 Errors To Fix

John Mueller responded:

“If you want to see which links to your website are broken & “relevant”, you can look at the analytics of your 404 page and check the referrers there, filtering out your domain.

This brings up those which actually get traffic, which is probably a good proxy.

If you have access to your server logs, you could get it in a bit more detail + see which ones search engine bots crawl.

It’s a bit of technical work, but no external tools needed, and likely a better estimation of what’s useful to fix/redirect.”

In his response, John Mueller answers the question on how to find 404 responses caused by broken inbound links and identify what’s “useful to fix” or to “redirect.”

Mueller Advises On When Not To “Fix” 404 Pages

John Mueller next offered advice on when it doesn’t make sense to not fix a 404 page.

Mueller explained:

“Keep in mind that you don’t have to fix 404 pages, having things go away is normal & fine.

The SEO ‘value’ of bringing a 404 back is probably less than the work you put into it.”

Some 404s Should Be Fixed And Some Don’t Need Fixing

John Mueller said that there are situations where a 404 error generated from an inbound link is easy to fix and suggested ways to find those errors and fix them.

Mueller also said that there are some cases where it’s basically a waste of time.

What wasn’t mentioned was what the difference was between the two and this may have caused some confusion.

Inbound Broken Links To Existing Webpages

There are times when another sites links into your site but uses the wrong URL. Traffic from the broken link on the outside site will generate a 404 response code on your site.

These kinds of links are easy to find and useful to fix.

There are other situations when an outside site will link to the correct webpage but the webpage URL changed and the 301 redirect is missing.

Those kinds of inbound broken links are also easy to find and useful to fix. If in doubt, read our guide on when to redirect URLs.

In both of those cases the inbound broken links to the existing webpages will generate a 404 response and this will show up in server logs, Google Search Console and in plugins like the Redirection WordPress plugin.

If the site is on WordPress and it’s using the Redirection plugin, identifying the problem is easy because the Redirection plugin offers a report of all 404 responses with all the necessary information for diagnosing and fixing the problem.

In the case where the Redirection plugin isn’t used one can also hand code an .htaccess rule for handling the redirect.

Lastly, one can contact the other website that’s generating the broken link and ask them to fix it. There’s always a small chance that the other site might decide to remove the link altogether. So it might be easier and faster to just fix it on your side.

Whichever approach is taken to fix the external inbound broken link, finding and fixing these issues is relatively simple.

Inbound Broken Links To Removed Pages

There are other situations where an old webpage was removed for a legitimate reason, like an event passed or a service is no longer offered.

In that case it makes sense to just show a 404 response code because that’s one of the reasons why a 404 response should be shown. It’s not a bad thing to show a 404 response.

Some people might want to get some value from the inbound link and create a new webpage to stand in for the missing page.

But that might not be useful because the link is for something that is irrelevant and of no use because the reason for the page no longer exists.

Even if you create a new reason, it’s possible that some of that link equity might flow to the page but it’s useless because the topic of that inbound link is totally irrelevant to anyting but the expired reason.

Redirecting the missing page to the home page is a strategy that some people use to benefit from the link to a page that no longer exists. But Google treats those links as Soft 404s, which then passes no benefit.

These are the cases that John Mueller was probably referring to when he said:

“…you don’t have to fix 404 pages, having things go away is normal & fine.

The SEO ‘value’ of bringing a 404 back is probably less than the work you put into it.”

Mueller is right, there are some pages that should be gone and totally removed from a website and the proper server response for those pages should be a 404 error response.

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Site Quality Is Simpler Than People Think




Site Quality Is Simpler Than People Think

Google’s John Mueller, Martin Splitt and Gary Illyes discussed site quality in a recent podcast, explaining the different ways of thinking about site quality and at one point saying it’s not rocket science. The discussion suggests that site quality could be simpler than most people know.

Site Quality Is Not Rocket Science

The first point they touched on is to recommend reading site quality documentation, insisting that site quality is not especially difficult to understand.

Gary Illyes said:

“So I would go to a search engine’s documentation.

Most of them have some documentation about how they function and just try to figure out where your content might be failing or where your page might be failing because honestly, okay, this is patronizing, but it’s not rocket science.”

No Tools For Site Quality – What To Do?

Gary acknowledged that there’s no tool for diagnosing site quality, not in the same way there are tools for objectively detecting technical issues.

The traffic metrics that show a downward movement don’t explain why, they just show that something changed.

Gary Illyes:

“I found the up-down metric completely useless because you still have to figure out what’s wrong with it or why people didn’t like it.

And then you’re like, “This is a perfectly good page. I wrote it, I know that it’s perfect.”

And then people, or I don’t know, like 99.7% of people are downvoting it. And you’re like, ‘Why?’”

Martin Splitt

“And I think that’s another thing.

How do I spot, I wrote the page, so clearly it is perfect and helpful and useful and amazing, but then people disagree, as you say.

How do you think about that? What do you do then?

How can I make my content more helpful, better, more useful? I don’t know.

…There’s all these tools that I can just look at and I see that something’s good or something’s bad.

But for quality, how do I go about that?”

Gary Illyes

“What if quality is actually simpler than at least most people think?

…What if it’s about writing the thing that will help people achieve whatever they need to achieve when they come to the page? And that’s it.”

Martin Splitt asked if Gary was talking about reviewing the page from the perspective of the user.

Illyes answered:

“No, we are reframing.”

Reframing generally means to think about the problem differently.

Gary’s example is to reframe the problem as whether the page delivers what it says it’s going to deliver (like helping users achieve X,Y,Z).

Something I see a lot with content is that the topic being targeted (for example, queries about how to catch a trout) isn’t matched by the content (which might actually be about tools for catching trout) which is not what the site visitor wants to achieve.

Quality In Terms Of Adding Value

There are different kinds of things that relate to site and page quality and in the next part of the podcast John Mueller and Gary Illyes discuss the issue about adding something of value.

Adding something of value came up in the context of where the SERPs offer good answers from websites that people not only enjoy but they expect to see those sites as answers for those queries.

You can tell when users expect specific sites for individual search queries when Google Suggests shows the brand name and the keyword.

That’s a clue that probably a lot of people are turning keywords into branded searches, which signals to Google what people want to see.

So, the problem of quality in those situations isn’t about being relevant for a query with the perfect answer.

For these situations, like for competitive queries, it’s not enough to be relevant or have the perfect answer.

John Mueller explains:

“The one thing I sometimes run into when talking with people is that they’ll be like, “Well, I feel I need to make this page.”

And I made this page for users in air quotes…

But then when I look at the search results, it’s like 9,000 other people also made this page.

It’s like, is this really adding value to the Internet?

And that’s sometimes kind of a weird discussion to have.

It’s like, ‘Well, it’s a good page, but who needs it?’

There are so many other versions of this page already, and people are happy with those.”

This is the type of situation where competitive analysis to “reverse engineer” the SERPs  works against the SEO.

It’s stale because using what’s in the SERPs as a template for what to do rank is feeding Google what it already has.

It’s like, as an example, let’s represent the site ranked in Google with a baseline of the number zero.

Let’s imagine everything in the SERPs has a baseline of zero. Less than zero is poor quality. Higher than zero is higher quality.

Zero is not better than zero, it’s just zero.

The SEOs who think they’re reverse engineering Google by copying entities, copying topics, they’re really just achieving an imperfect score of zero.

So, according to Mueller, Google responds with, “it’s a good page, but who needs it?”

What Google is looking for in this situation is not the baseline of what’s already in the SERPs, zero.

According to Mueller, they’re looking for something that’s not the same as the baseline.

So in my analogy, Google is looking for something above the baseline of what is already in the SERPs, a number greater than zero, which is a one.

You can’t add value by feeding Google back what’s already there. And you can’t add value by doing the same thing ten times bigger. It’s still the same thing.

Breaking Into The SERPs By The Side Door

Gary Illyes next discusses a way to break into a tough SERP, saying the way to do it is indirectly.

This is an old strategy but a good one that still works today.

So, rather than bringing a knife to a gunfight, Gary Illyes suggests choosing more realistic battles to compete in.

Gary continued the conversation about competing in tough SERPs.

He said:

“…this also is kind of related to the age-old topic that if you are a new site, then how can you break into your niche?

I think on today’s Internet, like back when I was doing ‘SEO’, it was already hard.

For certain topics or niches, it was absolutely a nightmare, like ….mesothelioma….

That was just impossible to break into. Legal topics, it was impossible to break into.

And I think by now, we have so much content on the Internet that there’s a very large number of topics where it is like 15 years ago or 20 years ago, that mesothelioma topic, where it was impossible to break into.

…I remember Matt Cutts, former head of Web Spam, …he was doing these videos.

And in one of the videos, he said try to offer something unique or your own perspective to the thing that you are writing about.

Then the number of perspective or available perspectives, free perspectives, is probably already gone.

But if you find a niche where people are not talking too much about, then suddenly, it’s much easier to break into.

So basically, this is me saying that you can break into most niches if you know what you are doing and if you are actually trying to help people.”

What Illyes is suggesting as a direction is to “know what you are doing and if you are actually trying to help people.

That’s one of my secrets to staying one step ahead in SEO.

For example, before the reviews update, before Google added Experience to E-A-T, I was telling clients privately to do that for their review pages and I told them to keep it a secret, because I knew I had it dialed in.

I’m not psychic, I was just looking at what Google wants to rank and I figured it out several years before the reviews update that you need to have original photos, you need to have hands-on experience with the reviewed product, etc.

Gary’s right when he advises to look at the problem from the perspective of “trying to help people.”

He next followed up with this idea about choosing which battles to fight.

He said:

“…and I think the other big motivator is, as always, money. People are trying to break into niches that make the most money. I mean, duh, I would do the same thing probably.

But if you write about these topics that most people don’t write about, let’s say just three people wrote about it on the Internet, then maybe you can capture some traffic.

And then if you have many of those, then maybe you can even outdo those high-traffic niches.”

Barriers To Entry

What Gary is talking about is how to get around the barrier to entry, which are the established sites. His suggestion is to stay away from offering what everyone else is offering (which is a quality thing).

Creating content that the bigger sites can’t or don’t know to create is an approach I’ve used with a new site.

Weaknesses can be things that the big site does poorly, like their inability to resonate with a younger or older audience and so on.

Those are examples of offering something different that makes the site stand out from a quality perspective.

Gary is talking about picking the battles that can be won, planting a flag, then moving on to the next hill.

That’s a far better strategies than walking up toe to toe with the bigger opponent.

Analyzing For Quality Issues

It’s a lot easier to analyze a site for technical issues than it is for quality issues.

But a few of the takeaways are:

  • Be aware that the people closest to the content are not always the best judges of content is quality.
  • Read Google’s search documentation (for on-page factors, content, and quality guidelines).
  • Content quality is simpler than it seems. Just think about knowing the topic well and being helpful to people.
  • Being original is about looking at the SERPs for things that you can do differently, not about copying what the competitors are doing.

In my experience, it’s super important to keep an open mind, to not get locked into one way of thinking, especially when it comes to site quality. This will help one keep from getting locked into a point of view that can keep one from seeing the true cause of ranking issues.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Stone36

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Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?




Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?

Alt text is used to help computers read images.

But can alt tags affect your organic search rankings?

Read on to learn whether there is any connection between alt text and improved rankings in Google Image Search results.

The Claim: Alt Text Is A Ranking Factor

What is alt text?

Alt text is an HTML image attribute. It allows you to create an alternative text version of your image if it cannot load or has an accessibility issue.

Because of its importance to Google Image Search, it is considered a ranking factor.

[Ranking Factors 2023] Download the free ebook + cheat sheet 

Alt Text As A Ranking Factor: The Evidence

Google emphasizes how alt text plays a vital role in getting your images recognized by Google Image Search.

You will find a page on image best practices in Google Search Central’s Advanced SEO documentation. In a section called “about alt text,” Google discusses the use of alt text.

“Google uses alt text along with computer vision algorithms and the contents of the page to understand the subject matter of the image. Also, alt text in images is useful as anchor text if you decide to use an image as a link.”

While the company doesn’t specify that alt text will improve your rankings, it warns website owners that improper use can harm your website.

“When writing alt text, focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.

Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (also known as keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”

It also offers the following examples of good and bad alt text usage.

Screenshot from Google Search Central, August 2023Google Search Central best practice for images

Google Sites Help documentation indicates that images may come with pre-populated alt text, including keywords for which you may not want to optimize.

“Some images automatically include alt text, so it’s a good idea to check that the alt text is what you want.”

For example, when I download stock photos, a text description of the image is embedded in the file.

Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?Screenshot by author, August 2023Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?

When uploaded to a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, the text descriptions may need to be moved to the alt text field or modified to remove unnecessary keywords.

Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?Screenshot from WordPress, August 2023Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?

In Google Search Central’s “Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide,” it offers the following advice about alt tags when using images as links:

“…if you’re using an image as a link, the alt text for that image will be treated similarly to the anchor text of a text link. However, we don’t recommend using too many images for links in your site’s navigation when text links could serve the same purpose.”

In 2020, John Mueller, Google Search Advocate, answered a question about the alt text of a quote image during a Google Webmaster Office Hours. In the answer, he talked about how Google uses it:

“For Search, what happens with the alt attribute is we use that to better understand the images themselves, in particular, for Image Search. So if you didn’t care about Image Search, then from a Search point of view, you don’t really need to worry about alt text.

But if you do want these images to be shown in Image Search, which sometimes it makes sense to show fancy quotes in Image Search as well, then using the alt attribute is a good way to tell us this is on that image and we’ll get extra information from around your page with regard to how we can rank that landing page.”

Moz mentions ranking factors about alt text. Instead of saying that the alt text itself is a ranking factor, Moz advises:

“…alt text offers you another opportunity to include your target keyword. With on-page keyword usage still pulling weight as a search engine ranking factor, it’s in your best interest to create alt text that both describes the image and, if possible, includes a keyword or keyword phrase you’re targeting.”

In 2021, during a Twitter discussion about ALT text having a benefit on SEO, Google Developer Martin Splitt said:

“Yep, alt text is important for SEO too!”

Later in 2021, Mueller noted that alt text is not magic during a conversation about optimization for indexing purposes.

“My understanding was that alt attributes are required for HTML5 validation, so if you can’t use them with your platform, that sounds like a bug. That said, alt text isn’t a magic SEO bullet.”

[Recommended Read] → Ranking Factors: Systems, Signals, and Page Experience

Alt Text As A Ranking Factor: Our Verdict

Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?Is Alt Text A Ranking Factor For Google Image Search?

Alt text is a confirmed ranking factor for image search only. You should craft descriptive, non-spammy alt text to help your images appear in Google Image Search results.

Alt text is definitely not a ranking factor in Google Search. Google has clarified that alt text acts like normal page text in overall search. So it’s not useless, but it’s not a separately considered ranking factor in your page content.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore alt text. It’s a helpful accessibility tool for screen readers. When you’re writing alt text, ask yourself what you want someone who can’t see the image to understand about it.

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita/SearchEngineJournal

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