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letting a search engine 'see' image text?

P: n/a
There's probably a standard answer for this, but it's never cropped up
for me before.

I have a (png) image that includes some text (a labelled group photo
of a conference), and it'd be useful if a search engine can find those
embedded names too -- without redundantly placing them in visible HTML
text. What's a good way to do this?

Some of the text can go in the 'alt' tag of the image, which I suppose
is checked by a search, but that could be a bit long. Suppose I could
use white-on-white like the spammers do... (:-/) I expect there's a
recognized way, though.
-- Pete --
--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 10 '07 #1
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P: n/a
On 10/10/2007 12:03 PM, Pete wrote:
There's probably a standard answer for this, but it's never cropped up
for me before.

I have a (png) image that includes some text (a labelled group photo
of a conference), and it'd be useful if a search engine can find those
embedded names too -- without redundantly placing them in visible HTML
text. What's a good way to do this?

Some of the text can go in the 'alt' tag of the image, which I suppose
is checked by a search, but that could be a bit long. Suppose I could
use white-on-white like the spammers do... (:-/) I expect there's a
recognized way, though.
-- Pete --

Imagine a blind person using an audio browser. He can't see your image,
but his browser "reads" the rest of the page aloud to him. The audio
browser also reads the text from ALT attributes. The ALT attribute for
your image should thus contain enough text to at least inform a blind
user what the image was about. If that cannot be done without quoting
the text in the image, then you should indeed quote the text in the ALT
attribute.

This is one reason why images should NOT be used to convey text.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Natural foods can be harmful: Look at all the
people who die of natural causes.
Oct 10 '07 #2

P: n/a
In article <PP******************************@softcom.net>,
David E. Ross <no****@nowhere.notwrote:
>On 10/10/2007 12:03 PM, Pete wrote:
>There's probably a standard answer for this, but it's never cropped up
for me before.

I have a (png) image that includes some text (a labelled group photo
of a conference), and it'd be useful if a search engine can find those
embedded names too -- without redundantly placing them in visible HTML
text. What's a good way to do this?

Imagine a blind person using an audio browser. He can't see your image,
but his browser "reads" the rest of the page aloud to him. The audio
browser also reads the text from ALT attributes. The ALT attribute for
your image should thus contain enough text to at least inform a blind
user what the image was about. If that cannot be done without quoting
the text in the image, then you should indeed quote the text in the ALT
attribute.
Yes -- as long as as search engine does the same... (I presume so, but that
was my original question.) This particular image would probably not be much
use to a blind user, as it simply associates names with faces.
>
This is one reason why images should NOT be used to convey text.
Totally agreed, normally. In this case though a) the image was sent to
me annotated, and b) the text has to be closely placed to match the
people -- something I wouldn't trust a browser to do.

Thanks,
-- Pete --
>
--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Natural foods can be harmful: Look at all the
people who die of natural causes.

--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 11 '07 #3

P: n/a
In article <fe*************@news.t-online.com>,
Thomas Mlynarczyk <th****@mlynarczyk-webdesign.dewrote:
>
But I don't know if search engines would actually follow the longdesc-link.
This is the problem -- I haven't found a (text or otherwise) browser that
sees longdesc at all, so maybe it's unlikely that a search engine would,
either.

I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...
>

There is no alt tag. There is just an alt *attribute*.
Sorry -- sloppy language... (:-/)
>
-- Pete --
--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 11 '07 #4

P: n/a
In our last episode, <fe**********@jwgibbs.CChem.Berkeley.EDU>, the lovely
and talented Pete broadcast on comp.infosystems.www.authoring.html:
In article <fe*************@news.t-online.com>,
Thomas Mlynarczyk <th****@mlynarczyk-webdesign.dewrote:
>>
But I don't know if search engines would actually follow the longdesc-link.
This is the problem -- I haven't found a (text or otherwise) browser that
sees longdesc at all, so maybe it's unlikely that a search engine would,
either.
I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...
Why not just style descriptive text display: none?

>>

There is no alt tag. There is just an alt *attribute*.
Sorry -- sloppy language... (:-/)
>>
-- Pete --

--
Lars Eighner <http://larseighner.com/ <http://myspace.com/larseighner>
Countdown: 467 days to go.
What do you do when you're debranded?
Oct 11 '07 #5

P: n/a
I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...
Beware of using ALT. If I turn images off, then I'll see your "hidden"
text in my browser, where you might have captioned your image "Pete (The
Bastard)" :-)

I'd see it if I viewed the source anyway.

--
Steve Swift
http://www.swiftys.org.uk/swifty.html
http://www.ringers.org.uk
Oct 11 '07 #6

P: n/a
Pete wrote:
>
I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...
AIUI, search engines tend to not index alt text at all, though some may
if the image is a link.

--
Berg
Oct 11 '07 #7

P: n/a
In article <47********@news.greennet.net>,
Steve Swift <St***********@gmail.comwrote:
>I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...

Beware of using ALT. If I turn images off, then I'll see your "hidden"
text in my browser, where you might have captioned your image "Pete (The
Bastard)" :-)

I'd see it if I viewed the source anyway.
Hey, I'm not being that Machiavellian... (:-))

Not trying to conceal anything here -- actually wanting to *provide* info
for search engines while avoiding redundancy.

-- Pete --

--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 11 '07 #8

P: n/a
In article <5n************@mid.individual.net>,
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrote:
>Pete wrote:
>>
I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...

AIUI, search engines tend to not index alt text at all, though some may
if the image is a link.
Ehh. Not too useful then.

What about '<meta name="keywords" content=...>', that I seem to remember
was once recommended for this sort of thing? I also remember hearing
that engines tend to ignore this because of misuse...

-- Pete --

--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 11 '07 #9

P: n/a
Well, responding to myself... [after doing my own googling!]

In article <fe**********@jwgibbs.CChem.Berkeley.EDU>,
Pete <ne*******@jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.eduwrote:
>In article <5n************@mid.individual.net>,
Bergamot <be******@visi.comwrote:
>>
AIUI, search engines tend to not index alt text at all, though some may
if the image is a link.
Ehh. Not too useful then.
But Google itself seems to recommend using the alt attribute to identify
image content, as does a tutorial or two, so I guess that *is* the thing
to do.
>
What about '<meta name="keywords" content=...>', that I seem to remember
was once recommended for this sort of thing? I also remember hearing
that engines tend to ignore this because of misuse...
And I was right about that...(as per many web articles) It may still be
attended to at a very low priority level, but only as a last resort.

-- Pete --
--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 11 '07 #10

P: n/a
In article <fe**********@jwgibbs.CChem.Berkeley.EDU>,
ne*******@jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.edu (Pete) wrote:
In article <47********@news.greennet.net>,
Steve Swift <St***********@gmail.comwrote:
I may eventually just have to see if the alt attribute shows up in a
google...
Beware of using ALT. If I turn images off, then I'll see your "hidden"
text in my browser, where you might have captioned your image "Pete (The
Bastard)" :-)

I'd see it if I viewed the source anyway.
Hey, I'm not being that Machiavellian... (:-))

Not trying to conceal anything here -- actually wanting to *provide* info
for search engines while avoiding redundancy.

-- Pete --
I think in your particular case that if you really want search engines
to find the information, then you should include it in a paragraph
of actual text along with the image (even though the image itself
contains annotation).

Elsewhere in this thread there was mention of using keywords, and
whether or not search engines look at this: in previous discussions
here, one opinion was that search engines take into account whether
or not the keywords are also present in page text. I have no idea
if this is actually true or not.
Oct 12 '07 #11

P: n/a
David Stone wrote:
>
I think in your particular case that if you really want search engines
to find the information, then you should include it in a paragraph
of actual text along with the image (even though the image itself
contains annotation).
I still believe alt attributes are useful (i.e., used by search engines)
containers of indexable text. Google returns one of my pages when I
search for text included only in alt texts on that page. I'm convinced.
>
Elsewhere in this thread there was mention of using keywords, and
whether or not search engines look at this: in previous discussions
here, one opinion was that search engines take into account whether
or not the keywords are also present in page text.
In which case the meta keywords can be ignored and the textual content
used for indexing, which is what Google tells us to do anyway.
I have no idea if this is actually true or not.
I am likewise unenlightened in the mystical secrets of the SE's.
--
John
Pondering the value of the UIP: http://improve-usenet.org/
Oct 12 '07 #12

P: n/a
On 10/10/2007 5:34 PM, Pete wrote:
In article <PP******************************@softcom.net>,
David E. Ross <no****@nowhere.notwrote:
>On 10/10/2007 12:03 PM, Pete wrote:
>>There's probably a standard answer for this, but it's never cropped up
for me before.

I have a (png) image that includes some text (a labelled group photo
of a conference), and it'd be useful if a search engine can find those
embedded names too -- without redundantly placing them in visible HTML
text. What's a good way to do this?
Imagine a blind person using an audio browser. He can't see your image,
but his browser "reads" the rest of the page aloud to him. The audio
browser also reads the text from ALT attributes. The ALT attribute for
your image should thus contain enough text to at least inform a blind
user what the image was about. If that cannot be done without quoting
the text in the image, then you should indeed quote the text in the ALT
attribute.
Yes -- as long as as search engine does the same... (I presume so, but that
was my original question.) This particular image would probably not be much
use to a blind user, as it simply associates names with faces.
>This is one reason why images should NOT be used to convey text.
Totally agreed, normally. In this case though a) the image was sent to
me annotated, and b) the text has to be closely placed to match the
people -- something I wouldn't trust a browser to do.

Thanks,
Cut the text from the image. Then use <div</div(with appropriate
CSS if necessary) to group the image with the related HTML text. If you
do that, the necessary ALT text can be brief.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Natural foods can be harmful: Look at all the
people who die of natural causes.
Oct 12 '07 #13

P: n/a
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007, John Hosking wrote:
I still believe alt attributes are useful (i.e., used by search engines)
containers of indexable text. Google returns one of my pages when I search
for text included only in alt texts on that page.
Can you give the address of that page and the specific text?

Last time when I checked, Google's web search indexed ALT text only in
<a href=...><img alt=...></a>

Google's image search seems to index ALT text always.
Oct 12 '07 #14

P: n/a
Andreas Prilop wrote:
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007, John Hosking wrote:
>I still believe alt attributes are useful (i.e., used by search engines)
containers of indexable text. Google returns one of my pages when I search
for text included only in alt texts on that page.

Can you give the address of that page and the specific text?
Sure. I used "Manon Emmenegger beim Frühlingsturnier 2005" which is on
(only) the page at <http://www.zugerfechtclub.ch/(third picture below
the navbar, it's the one with the little girl) ...
>
Last time when I checked, Google's web search indexed ALT text only in
<a href=...><img alt=...></a>
.... and which is also not a link.
>
Google's image search seems to index ALT text always.
And maybe all of them?
--
John
Pondering the value of the UIP: http://improve-usenet.org/
Oct 12 '07 #15

P: n/a
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007, John Hosking wrote:
I used "Manon Emmenegger beim Frühlingsturnier 2005" which is on (only)
the page at <http://www.zugerfechtclub.ch/>
Sorry, no.
| These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: manon emmenegger
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...negger&strip=1

Compare with
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...+Spass&strip=1
Oct 12 '07 #16

P: n/a
Andreas Prilop wrote:
On Fri, 12 Oct 2007, John Hosking wrote:
>I used "Manon Emmenegger beim Frühlingsturnier 2005" which is on (only)
the page at <http://www.zugerfechtclub.ch/>

Sorry, no.
| These terms only appear in links pointing to this page: manon emmenegger
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...negger&strip=1

Compare with
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...+Spass&strip=1
Okay, I know we're drifting away from the topic at hand, but I don't
know what I'm looking at here. How did you (know to) get these result
pages, with "only appear in links pointing to this page"?

And the next question: If those words "only appear in links pointing to
this page", where are those links? I'm wondering, because it's weird
that some page somewhere would point to this site's home page for this
girl, since she's not really included on it (and the circle of Swiss
fencing sites is pretty small). I was thinking Google had a keyword I
could use, like "link:", but that doesn't seem to do what I'm thinking
about.

--
John
Pondering the value of the UIP: http://improve-usenet.org/
Oct 13 '07 #17

P: n/a
In article <fe**********@jwgibbs.CChem.Berkeley.EDU>,
ne*******@jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.edu (Pete) wrote:
[...] I haven't found a (text or otherwise) browser that
sees longdesc at all
iCab, Gecko (Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, etc.) and Jaws (and presumably
other screen readers, like Window-Eyes) provide access to @longdesc.

iCab does so directly through the contextual menu's Image->Description
(which opens the @longdesc URL in a new window). In Gecko-based browsers
you need to, through the contextual menu, open the image's "Properties"
window, which lists the @longdesc URL as a "Description". In the current
Firefox the URL is just text, but I'm told that in Netscape 6 and 7 it
is a (clickable) hyperlink.

--
Sander Tekelenburg, <http://www.euronet.nl/%7Etekelenb/>
Oct 13 '07 #18

P: n/a
On Sat, 13 Oct 2007 02:59:58 +0200, John Hosking wrote:
I was thinking Google had a keyword I
could use, like "link:", but that doesn't seem to do what I'm thinking
about.
Add "site:example.com" as a search parameter.
--

Charles
Oct 14 '07 #19

P: n/a
In article <us************************@textnews.euro.net>,
Sander Tekelenburg <te******@euronet.nlwrote:
>In article <fe**********@jwgibbs.CChem.Berkeley.EDU>,
ne*******@jwgibbs.cchem.berkeley.edu (Pete) wrote:
>[...] I haven't found a (text or otherwise) browser that
sees longdesc at all

iCab, Gecko (Mozilla, Firefox, Netscape, etc.) and Jaws (and presumably
other screen readers, like Window-Eyes) provide access to @longdesc.

iCab does so directly through the contextual menu's Image->Description
(which opens the @longdesc URL in a new window).
That's not one I'm familiar with, but it soulds as if it does the 'right'
thing...
In Gecko-based browsers
you need to, through the contextual menu, open the image's "Properties"
window, which lists the @longdesc URL as a "Description". In the current
Firefox the URL is just text,
Mnyehh. No wonder I didn't notice it then! (:-/) And I don't think
simply showing the URL as text is what the originators of the attribute
were thinking of! Not what I'd call 'access' anyway.
but I'm told that in Netscape 6 and 7 it
is a (clickable) hyperlink.
....That's what I assume they *were* thinking of...

-- Pete --
--
================================================== ==========================
The address in the header is a Spam Bucket -- don't bother replying to it...
(If you do need to email, replace the account name with my true name.)
Oct 15 '07 #20

P: n/a
On Sat, 13 Oct 2007, John Hosking wrote:
>http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...negger&strip=1
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...+Spass&strip=1

How did you (know to) get these result pages, with "only
appear in links pointing to this page"?
I start with Google's cache
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...erfechtclub.ch
http://www.google.com/search?q=cache...lub.ch&strip=1
and then add some search terms.
And the next question: If those words "only appear in links pointing to
this page", where are those links?
Don't know. Google's search with "link:" has been broken for quite a long
time. You need to search with Yahoo if you want to find pages linking
to you.
Oct 17 '07 #21

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