IF you run a website or post on social media, you know that alt text is a very common feature these days. There are plenty of people who can benefit from alt text, including the blind, visually impaired, or who are on a bad internet connection. Those sites what use alt text can help describe photos, posters, graphs and other images in everything from a tweet to an article or slideshow, but only if their alt text is set up properly.
Not only do those with disabilities benefit from alt text, folks with low bandwidth might have issues when viewing site images. With alt text, they can at least know what the image is supposed to be.
Moreover, descriptive alt text, as Google Search Central’s image tips explain, is important to bots trying to index your image and web page. Whatever visual object you’re defining, the more precise it is, the better Google will understand and deliver it to people doing relevant searches.
In a Google Search Off The Record podcast, there was a discussion between Google’s Lizzi Sassman and John Mueller surrounding writing alt text. The two talk about and share the thought process behind great alt text.
As mentioned above, the conversation between the two talked about the issues of balancing SEO and using the alt text correctly for accessibility.
Listen to the Search Off the Record Podcast from the 11:53 minute mark.