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I've been told here and there that the "description" is important for SEO purposes and it's an optional, but should be filled in, attribute on WordPress when inserting an image.

I never ever fill this in and, to test, just now I inserted an image in the blank WordPress theme I use for testing plugins etc. (on local) and, obviously the "alt" has to be filled in since it's required, the "title" tag is optional but good to put in. Both show up in the code but, unless I'm missing something, "description" does not.

My question is simply, is this true? Is it needed?

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The alt tag is the description for an image...
This tags exists since google cant "read" the image.

That is why we describe the image for googe / bing / etc... the alt tag should no be longer then 3-5 words max (3 is better). The title tag is not a must unless you wish to show additional information on mouse over.

Here is some additional information about the alt tag at google's blog:

Hope this helps to answer your query.

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But thats what i mean, in WP when adding an image, it asks you to add in an "alt" tag field which is required ofcourse, and further down, it also asks for a "description". Based on what your saying, then why put in a "description" field in the image attribute setitngs. Know what i mean? –  somdow Dec 31 '12 at 1:47
    
The description can be shown by the theme in the single/permalink view for the attachment. It is not used within the img html tag. –  aaronwaggs Dec 31 '12 at 4:04
    
@aaronwaggs got it right ofcourse... the alt is the image description for seo purposes... the description field is mostly for your use unless you programmatically add it your theme... –  Sagive SEO Jan 2 '13 at 7:10
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