I have a website with thousands of posters containing useful information. At this moment, OCR reads the the image file during upload process and I have a separate column in database to store this data and allow users to perform full text search in it.

I would like to make this data available to search engines so my website will have advantage of original content others don't have, but this text from OCR is not formatted, not presentable for the user.

From my research, data hidden from user is not considered as a good practice.

My question is, what kind of tag is used for this or how is this done in industries that deal with images, videos, books, ... but have some metadata that is not meant to be displayed?

What we already have:

All the posters have title and alt tag, that is done by moderators carefully by hand. We also semi-automatically generate schema metadata defined by schema.org type Event, where we publish structured data for event on the poster, but OCR data is a lot of unpredictable text, not formatted and always different, we do not have capacity to edit it all, but is mostly useful data.

2 Answers 2


If you want to have search engines index it, you have to put it on the page where users can see it.

Users can get benefit from this data too. They could copy and paste a snippet. They could bump up the font size to make words legible.

It doesn't have to be prominent on the page. It could be in a section below the fold where you need to scroll to see it. Just make sure it can be found on the page using ctrl-f browser search.

If the text isn't good enough to show to users, it isn't good enough to have search engines index. If you need to improve the quality of it, allow users to be able to edit it like a wiki to improve it.

  • Thank you, vote up, as this may help someone, I am looking for specific meta markup, that is used for this purpose. We have PDFs and images of event posters, somebody changed my tags because they know more about what I want for sure :), I am still researching this and going to this month, because as we have over 200 000 visitors a day, I would like to stay professional and deal with this in the code or not at all, it is not information for the user, it should be searchable, I am not OK with showing this data to user, I am looking for something like schema.org for OCR.
    – Mike
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 14:08
  • Google says that any schema.org data has to be visible in the page or it is spam. Google is not ever interested in indexing meta data. Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 14:09

From my research, data hidden from user is not considered as a good practice.

That's true.

If you are searching for tag that can give description for multimedia files, then it's alt tag that you are searching.

Here's an example:

<img src="image.jpg" alt="image description" title="image tooltip"/>

Every time you have an image in your text, the alt tag should describe what’s on the image. Screen readers for the blind and visually impaired will read out this text and thus make your image accessible.

  • I already have alt and title, that is what moderators do manually when they upload the poster. But OCR data is complex, ugly, unformatted information from the poster like prices, times, dates, bands, unpredictable texts, a lot of text that we do not have capacity and time to edit.
    – Mike
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 9:41

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