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Relevance of title attribute in link



6:04 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is there any reason to use the title attribute in a link. For example

<a href="http://www.example.com/" title="Click here for some great offers">Click Here</a>

[edited by: aakk9999 at 6:08 pm (utc) on Nov 27, 2013]
[edit reason] Unlinked - please use example.com to avoid autolinking [/edit]


6:32 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

Yes, neildt.

The title attribute allows you to create a text snippet for your reader to read every time they hover the link (without clicking).

If used well, it helps improve your website usability.


7:11 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Or it can be annoying. I'd be inclined to use the technique sparingly.


9:04 pm on Nov 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Is there any SEO advantage, or could search engines view this can keyword stuffing


8:36 am on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

Under "Design and Content Guidelines", Google's Guidelines for Webmasters say:

Make sure that your <title> elements and ALT attributes are descriptive and accurate.

I'm not sure whether title attributes carry any SEO weight, but they can help your users navigate the site if used well - and sparingly, as EditorialGuy underlines.

I have used them successfully with navigation buttons to make them more descriptive than their one or two words text. Clickthroughs increased consequently.


9:22 am on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The title attribute represents advisory information for the element, such as would be appropriate for a tooltip. On a link, this could be the title or a description of the target resource; on an image, it could be the image credit or a description of the image; on a paragraph, it could be a footnote or commentary on the text; on a citation, it could be further information about the source; on interactive content, it could be a label for, or instructions for, use of the element; and so forth. The value is text.

Relying on the title attribute is currently discouraged as many user agents do not expose the attribute in an accessible manner as required by this specification (e.g. requiring a pointing device such as a mouse to cause a tooltip to appear, which excludes keyboard-only users and touch-only users, such as anyone with a modern phone or tablet).

If this attribute is omitted from an element, then it implies that the title attribute of the nearest ancestor HTML element with a title attribute set is also relevant to this element. Setting the attribute overrides this, explicitly stating that the advisory information of any ancestors is not relevant to this element. Setting the attribute to the empty string indicates that the element has no advisory information.


As far as SEO goes, search engines have to start their interpretation of a page/document somewhere, so where would they start in a better way than with conformance to the documentation/specifications?

If it was up to me, I'd "go with the docs", because everything else, to me, sounds like a "seconds best; alternative starting point" for search engines.

Please keep in mind: the question presented and the question I answered is relating to SEO in the Google SEO Forum at WebmasterWorld, which does not mean it applies in each/every situation -- What my reply is related to is SE [specifically Google's] use/most-likely [imo] interpretation of the information presented within the title attribute of an element, nothing else.


7:28 pm on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator phranque is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

while i would pay heed to the html spec and use the title attribute as advisory information for the visitor, i wouldn't ever expect to get SEO benefit from it.

Test Results: Google's Value of HTML Attributes in Links - Google SEO News and Discussion forum:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4265397.htm [webmasterworld.com]

Link titles - Are They Important in Search Results? - Google SEO News and Discussion forum:
http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4459346.htm [webmasterworld.com]


9:06 pm on Nov 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I know they've been tested repeatedly over the years and don't directly count for "rankings" or "give a ranking boost", any more than microformatting does, so I wouldn't expect any type of a "ranking increase" from the use of a title [or an ARIA role], but "understandability" and "associations" are something I suspect may be helped, much the way using microformatting isn't likely to push one site past another for a query, but it does increase the understandability and on/off-page associations for bots.


Are the same way -- Not one bit of "direct ranking boost" for a page, but definitely not "bad" SEO to use appropriately.

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