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When I looked in the Google for such data I found only one article that deals with ALT attributes and (if I understood correctly) clues that indeed it is logical to put dots in the end of ALT text especially when it's a sentence; What about Image titles? They seem to me more like an "Entity of itself", though we can easily say it should also contain dots if it's a sentence.

I thus conclude that the criterion should be the natuarility crieterion: If the ALT or Title includes just a name or a phrase (whether it would be comprised of 1/2/3/4/5 words), then a dot isn't needed, but if it's a sentence, than it should include this.

What do you think?

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  • 2
    This really doesn't matter.
    – John Conde
    Feb 23, 2016 at 0:28
  • It won't make any difference for Google if there is dot at the end or not, it will be a better user experience I guess, so there isn't a problem.
    – knif3r
    Feb 23, 2016 at 8:50
  • I have been told by representatives of organizations for the blind that because screen readers read out punctuation marks, their use should be limited to those necessary for contextual clarity. Thinking along those lines, I tend to omit the period at the end of a sentence if the tag consists of only one sentence, but to include periods at the end of sentences if the tag contains more than one sentence. I don't know whether this is the "right" way to do it. It just seems to make sense to me. As for Google, I don't think they care in the least about periods. Jan 8, 2018 at 11:54

2 Answers 2

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I cannot tell you if image titles are analyzed in search or not. Let's assume the safest assumption. Let's assume it does. We know that image alt tags are.

Where ever possible, where ever it makes sense, there is more value in creating enough semantic understanding as you can meaning that at least a subject, predicate, and object exists. Where ever possible, a full sentence allows for full semantic understanding. Why? Because as we write, we automatically provide the subject, predicate, and object elements along with punctuation which helps to properly cluster these elements.

Simple?

It is always far better to write full sentences, but not a complete show stopper as long as you provide a subject, predicate, and object. Better yet, if you write full sentences, you do not have to think about semantics at all and how it will be understood. You can simply take it for granted.

Short answer? If you are writing a sentence, then make sure it is punctuated properly so that semantic analysis against your sentence can be the best it can be.

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  • Yes, write for the reader, not for Google. Feb 25, 2016 at 5:10
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From an accessibility point of view, it's beneficial to include a dot at the end of the sentence in alt attribute. It will make the screen reader sound more natural.

"alt" - should be used to give the functional and contextualized label or description (rather than a visual description). Think of it as a textual replacement for users and search engines. It should not bring to the attention of the user that a picture exists and should be grammatically correct. End alt-text with punctuation (comma, colon, or period) to indicate a pause in reading, when appropriate.

Source: W3.org

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