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SEO Benefits of Link Title Attributes: Do they help search engine ranking?

Updated on November 9, 2012

When we say SEO we usually think about having great contents, putting right keywords, link building, social media presence and so on. Whether link title attributes are good for search engine rankings is a relatively less discussed topic, but I dare to say this topic is not worth a discussion. A very important yet less emphasized factor of search engine optimization is user satisfaction, and this is exactly where having good title attributes for your hyperlinks can help you out. Let us see how a link title attribute can help SEO, how to put good link titles, and what are the possible pitfalls to avoid.

How to write a good link title attribute?

In order to write a good link title attribute, you need to know exactly what it is. The W3 defines it as something that offers advisory information about the element for which it is set. The user agents can render the value of the link title attributes in several possible ways. If you point your mouse (or other pointing devices) to the hyperlink, the value of the link title usually appears as a short message. For visually disabled persons, the audio devices generally read out it aloud. What we can sum up from here is, if you are going to have a link title attribute, make sure it is going to have some additional information to the user.

If you are offering some additional, quality information about the linked page, link titles can greatly enhance your user experience. And if your visitors love you, they will pay return visits, create valuable back links in social media and other websites, manually refer your website to their friends and acquaintances, and what not. When it comes to on the page SEO, link title attributes may not offer significant help, and you always run the risk of being punished by misusing them. Nevertheless, the indirect SEO advantage of link titles cannot be negated, and we can safely predict that future SEO trends will focus more on better user experience too.

Don't have bad link titles

While having proper link title attributes may offer you some SEO advantage, it can attract a ten times greater punishment if you do not put it properly. Never spam it. Never repeat your anchor text as value of the link title attribute either. Spamming your link title attribute is going to hurt you in two possible ways. All the major search engines including Google, Yahoo and Bing are smart enough these days to figure out your keyword spamming in link titles. If you use too many keywords in your link title attributes, the search engines are going to figure it out for sure and cut down your search engine rankings severely. If anybody is suggesting you to place your keywords in the link title, be sure they are offering black hat SEO tips.

Having meaningless link titles can also affect your user experience, thereby decreasing the overall SEO quality of your website. For example, if you are having a link to a page on SEO Tips, never have a link title such as SEO tips, SEO tutorials, free SEO articles and so on. It will definitely sound odd and irritating if the audio device reads it out aloud to a visually disabled user. Instead, if you put a link title like learn to get more traffic to your website, or SEO tips for amateur bloggers, that clearly indicates what your target page is all about. In fact, if any normal user sees a spam tool tip message as he hovers the mouse pointer over the hyperlink, I bet that person is going to be somewhat irritated too! Your traffics are your cherished and hard-earned assets, like the customers in a shop. Try to improve their experience and make sure you do not fend them off by adopting poor SEO practices. Imagine yourself in the shoe of your visitor, and you will know what I am talking about!


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