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Image Replacement And Seo


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6 replies to this topic

#1 JayMcDonald

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Posted 15 February 2012 - 10:54 PM

I have long used CSS image replacement to do things like provide a plain text version of a graphical text treatment, or a company logo, or anything where an image is needed, but I want the text in the image to be available for spidering. Now, I'm concerned that it could be useless or harmful. Matt Cutts made some confusing remarks on this that were ambiguous at best: www.dailyblogtips.com/is-css-image-replacement-ok-for-seo/

Does anyone have the straight dope?

#2 piskie

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 09:40 AM

Two things here.

First, this is (IMO) a moving target.
As spammers utilise any technique in different ways constantly pushing the boundaries then the Algo settings will be adjusted to detect them.

Second, because it is a moving target, it is important to treat any Google hints as likely to time expire at some point.
Judge for yourself whether that is say 3 months. 6 months or a couple of years.
Now as the Matt Cutts quote in question is (I believe) from 2005, then it is highly likely that Google has changed it's position since then if only slightly.



#3 JayMcDonald

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 12:02 PM

So here's what I'm thinking: What if I take an approach that requires soem more markup and CSS, but doesn't use the -2000 margin... would this be any better, or just as iffy?

<div id="logo">
<div id="logoArt"></div>
<h1><a href="/">Company Name</a></h1>
</div>


...


div#logo {
display: block;
width: 151px;
height: 21px;
overflow: hidden;
}

div#logoArt {
display: block;
width: 151px;
height: 21px;
background: url(../images/header-logo.gif) top left no-repeat;
}

#4 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 01:52 PM

As far as I can determine (meaning I would love to see a counter-example) Google doesn't index images used in CSS replacement. If you want the images to appear in Google Image Search, embed them directly in your HTML code. If you do NOT want the images to appear in Google Image Search, use CSS replacement.


#5 JayMcDonald

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 02:55 PM

Michael,

I don't care if the image is indexed or not. I just want to make sure the text/link being replaced is.

#6 piskie

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 06:07 PM

Personally, I have never really trusted a linked H1 to be given a clean bill of health..
I would be a bit concerned about that on it's own without the CSS image covering it up.
However, I do tend to play safe and not take any chances not even grey hat.

#7 Michael Martinez

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Posted 16 February 2012 - 08:09 PM

I think this is something you should test on a few secondary pages and see for yourself what you feel comfortable with. Search engines crawl CSS files and evaluate them. We know that because they have issued occasional warnings about what NOT to do with the files. But how much they analyze those files for ranking purposes is another issue altogether, I think, and it's not something I often look at. I would not feel comfortable offering an opinion on what would happen with the links.




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