This question is more for the SEO specialists. I am creating a B2B website in which I will have repetitive images showing in my Portfolio section, in a slideshow and grid format. Even though I will be naming the images intelligently, I plan on refraining from giving ALT tags to each and every one of them, because they will be extremely similar/identical to each other, and I do not want to be penalized by Google for redundancy (I do plan on adding null ALT tags to each, however).

Here is my question: Will image names and then keyword-rich copy elsewhere on the same page as the images be sufficient for image SEO? Captions will not always be an option in my particular layout, which I know can assist with SEO. But I just want to make sure that I am covering all my bases (within reason) when optimizing my images for search. So, to recap: I am planning on relying on image name and then contextual text on the page to boost image optimization, rather than keyword-loading the ALT tags on repetitive images. Make sense?


1 Answer 1


The good news is, Google (and Bing) will not penalize you for having the same alt text on multiple images. Let's say you have five images of Corgi puppies hanging out, not doing anything particular. It would be okay to apply an alt text of "Corgi Puppy" to all of them, since this is technically the correct description for all these images.

Titles on images are nice to have, but don't have much impact on rankings or indexation of images.

When adding or leaving out alt tags, think of assistive technologies like screen readers. They could benefit from the alt text on all your images, even similar ones. If your image is important to the page content, you should include alt text; if it's not (such as a background image), use the empty alt tag.

Image file names do play a role, since search engines read those file names. Don't forget to use descriptive ones for your images.

You can also include only the images that you want indexed in your XML sitemap. You can either include them in your regular page and post sitemap, or create a separate image XML sitemap. Make sure that the ones you don't care about are left out.

Finally, you can use robots.txt to exclude the URL's of the images you don't want indexed.

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    The point of 'alt' tags is to help people who have bad eyesight or poor vision to be able to get some idea of what images are being served up when they are using screen readers to surf - do it for them.
    – zod
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 23:48

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