An SEO professional asked John Mueller about alt text during a Question and Answer segment in a hangout.
They have images with some text on them. In this case, should they still be using alt text?
John explained that even if you do have text in images, it makes sense to have the text directly on the page itself in the form of alt text.
There are many different ways to creatively display text across a website. John says he wouldn’t necessarily try to use text and images, and then use alt text to help with that.
He believes alt text is a great way to help with that. Ideally, it’s better to avoid having text and images.
Additionally, the question reads: should I write alt text for products for an e-commerce site, since there is already text beneath the product that also describes the product?
John answered that from a more general perspective, the alt text is meant as a replacement or description of the image.
This is something that is particularly useful for people who can’t look at individual images, who use things like screen readers.
But, it also helps search engines to understand what this image is about. And, if you already have the same description for a product around the image, then for search engines, they have what they need.
For people with screen readers, however, perhaps it still makes sense to have some alt text for that specific image. In a case like this, John would avoid the situation where you’re just repeating the same thing over and over.
He advises that SEO pros should avoid having the title of the product be used as an alt text for the image, but rather you want to describe the image in a slightly different way.
This happens at approximately the 36:40 mark in the video.