I'm reworking our site to reduce HTTP requests and blocking requests by concatenating JS, css, gzipping, loading all JS via LABjs and using CSS sprites for images that were loaded individually via
<img> tags before.
Progress has been great so far - 5x page load performance improvement. However, we're in the top 5 organic search ranking in google for many targeted keywords and phrases. I'm afraid eliminating so many img tags with alt attributes can hurt our SEO.
Does anyone have any experience with alt tag manip/removal and effects on SEO positions? Is previous rank "sticky"?