Should the title and the alt tags have completely different text for a certain image? Or is it OK if I use the same text for both the title tag and alt tag?

The text would be different for every image of course. So image1 would have one text for the alt and title and image2 would use a different text.

  • Should they differ? Almost always. Alt tags are supposed to convey the same information as the image. (essentially, alt data is just inline document text) Titles describe the image. This means many decorative image elements ought to have no/null alt data set. Adding superfluous content burdens those using image alt information unduly.
    – The Nate
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 13:22

3 Answers 3


It is valid but highly not recommended, usually there is a structure you should follow to get the most of the SEO juice avaiable and it is :

For the alternative text you want to show info for the picture, and for title you want to focus on the content the picture associate to.
Example: If you put an image of a local supermarket, the alt would be "Supermarket x in city" or something.
But your title should be related to what the image stands there for, for example "Robbery in local supermarket".

  • True. I am aware of this. Yet I am somehow obligated due to technical reasons. As an additional detail the alt text will stand as the title too. So for one of my images both the title and the alt tag will say "Supermarket x in city". So, I was wondering if this will cause any issues. Though I know it is not best practice.
    – ClawDuda
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 15:38
  • As I said I think it is valid to choose the same name for alt and title attributes.
    – knif3r
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 15:48
  • Well, I think it depends what you mean by "valid". It's technically valid yes, but whether it really makes sense is another matter. The alt and title attributes are quite different and it probably doesn't make sense to use the same data in each - IMO.
    – MrWhite
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 19:37
  • I'm confused. If you really are forced to use alt=title by technical limitations, (I call shenanigans on that, btw) what's the point of the question? Good or bad, what's gonna change?
    – The Nate
    Commented Feb 20, 2016 at 13:27
  • I can't tell exactly what using different text for the attributes would change but I can tell you for sure that it's better practice not to use the same, for example your images will show for a specific tag that you can control but your content will be assosiated better, it's part of that definition of "Valuable content" or whatever Google dudes call it in 2016. Altought it's still valid to use the same text for alt and title tags I would recommend not to do it, it's a SEO chance you wouldn't want to miss. (That's my opinion it could be wrong of course).
    – knif3r
    Commented Feb 21, 2016 at 22:30

Since tons of people are using internet on mobile devices, I suggest not paying too much attention to the title value in the image tag. On a desktop computer, that value is what people see on screen if they put their mouse pointer over the image for a set period of time (one second?). Once they move the mouse again, the title that appear will now disappear. I have used a few mobile devices and never seen the image title value pop-up on the screen.

What I do in order to lower HTML byte size and lower the chances of keyword spam is not even specify the title. Google hates it when the same set of keywords appear in a page over and over again. Here's an example:

<title>Yellow Chicken runny soup inside white chicken runny soup</title>
<p>Yellow chicken runny soup is made with white chicken runny soup mixed with light yellow chicken runny soup and one other chicken runny soup. See image of yellow chicken runny soup.</p>
<img src="/path/to/yellow/chicken/runny/soup.jpg" alt="yellow chicken runny soup" title="yellow chicken runny soup">
<p>See image of white chicken runny soup</p>
<img src="/path/to/white/chicken/runny/soup.jpg" alt="white chicken runny soup" title="white chicken runny soup">
<p>And that's all we have for white chicken runny soup and yellow chicken runny soup for today.</p>
<!-- copyright yellow and white chicken runny soup enterprises -->

As you can see, having the exact same title and alt value makes your keyword density for keywords higher, but if you don't watch it, you could go overboard to the point where search engines think your site is spam.

What is extremely important is having the alt value specified. This is a value that describes the image that google uses.

P.S. If someone manages to get my HTML posted above in top position in google's index, I'll throw that person in the guiness book of world records.


Not including the “alt tag” is one of the most common SEO mistakes

This is sloppy SEO because search engine robots can’t read images without text, plus you’ve missed a keyword opportunity. On the other hand, it's a poor experience for users who disabled images in their browsers.

  • 3
    This has nothing to do with my question. What i asked was if it's a seo mistake to use the SAME text for both the alt tag AND the title tag. Example "happy dog walking on the street" with be the text for both the alt tag and the title tag. Or is it mandatory to use different text for these 2.
    – ClawDuda
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 13:21
  • I just realized that the way I phrased the question was wrong. I do not want to use the same text across the whole website for every image. I rewrote the question I hope now you understand.
    – ClawDuda
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 13:27

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