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The ALT attribute is designed to be an alternative text description (provide a text equivalent) for images. BenefitsSEO Glossary.com - Cite This Source - This Definition
Blind people and most major search engines are not able to easily distinguish what is in an image. Using an image alt attribute allows you to help screen readers and search engines understand the function of an image by providing a text equivalent for the object.
<img src="http://www.seobook.com/images/whammy.gif" height="140" width="120" alt="Press Your Luck Whammy." />
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