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There are a lot of creepy crawlers out there on the Internet, and some of them are trying to help you get attention. Spiders that crawl web pages looking for information to add to their respective search engines are looking for more information on your website. They cannot read graphics.
What does this mean for you?
It means that if you had to use a graphic representation of your logo at the top of your web page or if you are using a graphic to represent your homepage, the search engines will not read it - unless you are using your alternative text option.
An alternative text for your graphic is used primarly to let the web visitor know what is supposed to be there but might be missing for any number of reasons. Secondarily, though, spiders will pick up the alternative text. So you can make it something creative, like the name of your product or service or company. Ask your web designer how to add one for you today.