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I'm moving into using divs with backgrounds set by css, instead of using img tags

But I'm wondering.. will this be given different or lower rank/importance/quality by search engines?

I don't know, but I could imagine that if the site has no images (in the html alone), search engines would rate the content quality lower?

  • Why would this matter at all? This is a classic example of irrational fear. There's way to much of this with SEO. – John Conde Jun 29 '14 at 14:23
  • @JohnConde You make no sense.. SEO optimization does not matter at all to you? To me it does. I want the site to be as successful and visited as possible. If I can improve it, why not do it? Of course I want a higher position in search results. Who doesn't.. you don't? And I don't know if search engines "punishes" sites with no images or not. Do you? – mowgli Jun 29 '14 at 14:30
  • Rule 1. Write content for your visitors, Rule 2. Only add things you think is relevant to your Visitors, Rule 3. Always obey rules 1 and 2. – Simon Hayter Jun 29 '14 at 17:33
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    In other words, no it doesn't matter. Its one of many page siginals. Most of Stack Exchange network has threads with no images and they rank among the top 100 sites in the world. Off page SEO trumps all on page SEO... Focus more on your visitors and on ways of gaining more visitors without toying with elements that isn't fitting for your visitors. – Simon Hayter Jun 29 '14 at 17:35
  • What you guys are saying shows that you have allowed Matt Cutts to brainwash you. Of course content is king, but not everybody's website is Stack Exchange so most of your arguments are invalid. – CaptainCodeman Jun 29 '14 at 20:15
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Images are page signals and factors of many...

Images always help because they are one of many signals using the ALT to inform Google what the page is about, however to say they are needed is also false, its one of many factors. Google can establish factors from many other signals such as TITLE, Meta, Content and so on.

Write content for your visitors not the search engines...

You should always write content for your site visitors, writing and adding content merely to satisfy search engines is the worst seo because your defeating the objective, site visitors not search rankings. Ultimately more visitors and more returning visitors you higher your chances for social mentions, back links and other PR exposure which is by far the best SEO and long term strategy you can do.

Summary

Images are not needed to rank pages as they are one of many page signals. The only thing negative about not having pictures is that you miss out on traffic that can come from Google image search but again you should only ever use images on your site to please your site visitors not search bots.

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    I second what bybe says. The metric for image alt tags is rather minor compared to all the others. It does help in some cases, but some of the most successful sites do not rely on images at all. Design your site according to what is right for you. Google does not make the rules- but sometimes wants to effect the rules. For example, Google a while ago, tried to eliminate redirects without success. The community is far greater than any effect Google can make. Follow the W3c rules and let Google sort it out for themselves. – closetnoc Jun 29 '14 at 19:03

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