How to Use the Link TITLE Attribute
Many people are misusing the link TITLE attribute, thanks to platforms like WordPress. By default, WordPress and other commonly used content management systems duplicate the post title link in the link TITLE attribute. As widespread as this practice has become, it’s time to end it. View more info on what we can offer on our Internet Marketing Services page. In this post, we will answer three crucial Link TITLE Attribute questions:
- What is the Link TITLE Attribute?
- Are there times when not using a Link TITLE Attribute is Okay?
- When to use the Link TITLE Attribute
What is the Link TITLE Attribute?
Rather than duplicating your anchor text, the link TITLE attribute is intended as additional information to expand on the meaning of your link. The anchor text names your link, while the title text describes it to provide more information about where clicking the link will send the user.
The link TITLE attribute carries no bearing on search engines, as is the consensus from experienced SEOs. Yes, things change all the time regarding how search engines determine rank – so this could change at any given moment. That’s why it’s essential to clear up this common misconception and annoying practice.
Are There Times When Not Using a Link TITLE Attribute is Okay?
✔️Yes and No! It would be best not to use it when merely duplicating your anchor text. If the title tag cannot provide more information about the link, you don’t need it. That is, if the connection is evident based on its anchor text and the surrounding context, using the TITLE attribute is unnecessary.
✔️However, with some adaptive screen reading software (for people who are blind), it is beneficial to add the title tag with the hyperlinked anchor text with something descriptive for the end-user. This means you can certainly use the same anchor.
✔️Why? From a usability perspective, users will see the same thing twice. But, there is an exception to this rule as sometimes design limitations prevent the entire text link from being shown. Because most browsers display the complete TITLE attribute when you hover over a link, it can help finish out what can’t be seen on the link itself.
When to Use the Link TITLE Attribute
Use it when your anchor text is “click here” or something similar and provides no guidance on where the link will take the user.
Don’t stress title attributes too much because many screen readers do not render them. Instead, rely on your surrounding or anchor text to provide the context and explain the link for those users.
Focus on using the TITLE attribute for your users rather than search engines – and don’t use the exact text as your anchor, as this can negatively impact usability. Blind users will end up hearing the same text twice in this case.
“The “title” attribute is a bit different: it “offers advisory information about the element for which it is set.” As the Googlebot does not see the images directly, we generally concentrate on the information provided in the “alt” attribute. Feel free to supplement the “alt” attribute with “title” and other attributes if they provide value to your users!”
And here’s Bing’s take on the matter:
“Think of the anchor text as your primary description of the linked page. But if you do inline linking within the paragraphs of your body text, you need to maintain the natural, logical flow of the language in the paragraph, which can limit your link text description. As such, you can use the title attribute to add additional keyword information about the linked page without adversely affecting the readability of the text for the end-user.”
Want to know if you’re using the TITLE attribute when you shouldn’t or if you’ve duplicated your anchor text? We’ll tell you as part of our free SEO audit.