Not that I'm aware of. But, the value to your visitors is of great benefit. I always work with named anchors (or bookmarks in FrontPage) when developing sites. Longer pages usually get the
<ol> or <ul> index at the top or left of the page. And then of course you have your back to top link after each section. This allows the user to jump back and forth between each named section quickly.
If you can put the user one click less away from content, then it should be done. Named anchors are a great way to do this. Forget about any SEO benefit. As long as you've been around here, I'm sure you've seen the Mantra of think about your visitors first, the search engines will follow naturally.
Note: What we are talking about here are Named Anchors. Since the name attribute has been deprecated in XHTML, it is suggested that you utilize the ID element for anchorage.
12.2.3 Anchors with the id attribute [w3.org]
Yes, I know the score!
I've presented myself with the first single page document which is actually long enough to do justice to using anchors in this way, to make it manageable for users to negotiate it.
So I'll use them anyway - I was curious about SEO value as it's something I haven't seen talked about much on here.
<Edit>Many thanks for the ID tip</Edit>
Here's how I interpret it. There is value for having keywords and keyword phrases within linked elements. So, there may be a little bit of value in this type of structure. It could be the 99th thing that Google considers in its 100+ ranking factors. It also appears that named anchors won't get indexed. I believe that # symbol in the URI prevents the named anchor link from getting indexed.
I guess the anchors don't need to be indexed - the link only points to elsewhere on the page.
As you say though, google will know what it is (I'm sure) and it may be 1 of the 100 things that gets a little credit.
You've satisfied my curiosity.
I don't think that the # symbol can be indexed either. Anchors are very useful for long documents, FAQs etc.
I expect the SEO value to be very little.
|I expect the SEO value to be very little. |
The main reason I asked was I was thinking about, as you point out, the benefit of anchors in very long documents.
In that context, surely better for the user than H1, H2 etc heading tags?
In which case, you'd think that google might put as much weight on them as H tags?
If a page is long enough to warrant its own sub navigation, wouldn't that also make it suitable to be split into a number of separate topic pages? And then, wouldn't those pages have an SEO benefit as they are even more focused on a specific topic?
I don't know, but seemed intresting to ask.
Well you can have both: anchors are for links and Hx tags are for headings.
Yes Rich, you can do. It depends on the document. For example, I would expect to see terms and conditions on one page.
|Well you can have both: anchors are for links and Hx tags are for headings. |
<Dunces Hat On>It's been a long day ;-)</Dunces Hat Off>
Rich, I have always done that in the past because, as sem4u says, that's suited the type of document in the best manner.
This particular document just lends itself to on page anchor navigation due to its structure.
The SEO value was purely curiousity, it wouldn't change the way I'd do it.
|In that context, surely better for the user than H1, H2 etc heading tags? |
When I structure long pages, I'm usually preceding sub-sections of that page with
<h> elements. I will typically point the named anchor to each
<h> as that is where the user needs to start. For example...
<li><a href="file.asp#anchor1">Named Anchor</a></li>
And then my
<h> elements are labeled with the named anchor ID...
<h2 id="anchor1">Named Anchor 1</h2>