Image Replacement Techniques and Issues

Dave Shea provides an excellent round up of the various image replacement techniques currently in use.

When I saw how one in particular worked however, the Lindsay Method, it immediately raised some red flags in my mind about the potential for search engines to see it as some kind of spamming techinque.

Tiny fonts and text the same color as the background are tried and tested methods for trying to trick search engines into ranking your site for certain keyword phrases, and for this reason alone, I would not recommend using this method.

I looked around the web briefly for some articles to back up my concerns, and while there has been a lot of talk on the subject (example discussion 1, example discussion 2) I was not able to find a definitive answer as (naturally) the search engines do not report exactly how their spiders and search algorithms work.

I do have a question about the Phark Method. I couldn’t get it to work for a site logo which needs to be linked to the home page. Is it possible and I am just missing something obvious?

To me it seems that if you’ve indented your text (and hence your link) by 1000 pixels there’s no way in hell it’s going to work, and I couldn’t come up with a workaround.

3 thoughts to “Image Replacement Techniques and Issues”

  1. Hey Smileycat 😉
    The goal for moving the text out of the way is so that the only thing the user will see (and be able to click on) is the background image. To make this work for site logos, you’ve gotta do some stuff to that link first.
    First, it can’t just be an ordinary link. In the CSS you should switch its display to display: block, then give it a width and a height so that it’s no longer just some underlined text, but a big box that the user can click on.
    It’s kinda tough to explain in a comment, but check out this CSS file I wrote where I used it. About halfway down you’ll see the rules for h1 and h1 a.
    If you have any questions, please feel free to give me a shout 🙂
    Mike

  2. Mike, thanks for clearing that up – in hindsight the solution is quite simple. So it seems to me that your image replacement technique is one of the best out there in that case. Consider me a “Phark-o-phile”!

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