The screenshot (taken October 2019) of the relevant Google search, you can see the two results from this website.
This could not be a better or clearer SEO test result.
Check the Google search result yourself, search Google (including the “speech marks”) for:
“SEO Gold Alt Text VALID SEARCH TEST 98″
But replace “SEARCH” with “SEO”: I made the substitution so the test webpage only uses the exact phrase including SEO once (as the alt text of the relevant image). View HTML source of https://seo-gold.com/anchor-text/ and find the alt text for the relevant image.
The Anchor Test SEO Tutorial webpage is indexed (it’s the 2nd result in Google) showing the alt text is indexed and ranked like normal body text. The text we searched for is ONLY located within the alt=”test search phrase here”, there’s no other webpage on this site using that exact phrase, it’s ONLY found in the alt text of the one linked image on the anchor text SEO tutorial article.
If Google didn’t treat alt text on a webpage in a similar way to how it treats body text, why would the anchor text SEO tutorial article be ranked for the test search phrase? It proves Google indexes and ranks alt text of linked images.
The other webpage ranked for the test phrase is https://seo-gold.com/anchor-text/alt-text-seo-test/ (the webpage you are on now), which is what the linked image links to.
Again this is a clear SEO test result, the text we searched for is NOT located on this webpage, the only reference the webpage has to the text is via the image link using the alt=”test search phrase here” showing the alt text is being treated the same way as anchor text in terms of passing ranking benefit.
Basically by linking to a webpage via an image link with alt text, the webpage being linked from and to are being ranked for whatever phrase is within the alt text attribute in the same way anchor text works.
Update 2020: The relevant search phrase no longer shows two results, this doesn’t mean Google has stopped counting alt text as described above. Google requires a minimum amount of link benefit (PageRank) to keep a webpage ranked for a SERP and these are extreme results with only one low quality link to the linked to test page. What tends to happen with this and similar SEO tests is the result in clear within the first week or so, but weeks/months later the linked to webpage no longer ranks for the exact match search phrase.
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