title-attribute

Summary: no, not in the 1-on-1 "mechanical", algorithmic way.

What Is The Title Attribute?

It's not the <title> tag: the title element is the <title> of a web page.

The title attribute can be added to a lot of different HTML tags ("elements").

The purpose of the title is to communicate extra information to the end-user about the HTML tag it was attached to.

Here are a few links with a title attribute attached to it:

  • <a href="http://www.example.com title="A domain from the IANA to use for examples">example.com</a>
  • <a title="The Hidden Dangers by Jane Doe" href="http://example.org">illustrative examples</a>

My own favorite use for it is to add the title of the post or article I'm linking a word to.

What Does The Title Attribute Do?

When you hold your mouse over an element that has a title attribute set a tooltip will come up showing the text of the title.

Screenreaders may speak out the content of the title attribute depending on various factors. Those factors include: is it an image; a link; a link without anchor text; is the setting enabled; etc. etc.

Does Google Index The Title Attribute?

No.

There is no proof that Google adds information found in title attributes to its final index of the web.

There is no proof that Google uses text inside the title attribute for retrieval.

There is no proof that Google uses text inside the title attribute for ranking.

Why Not?

Maybe the potential for abuse is too high, a little bit like how using meta keywords quickly became useless for web search engines.

Possible Benefit of Title Attribute

Adding a title attribute is really one of those things you do purely for the user.

Doing things for the user is a good way of doing things. The happier the user the better the chance they stay on the site; and that can help convince search engines to rank you (a little bit) better.

Conclusion

  • The title attribute can give a title to lots of HTML tags
  • The content of a title attribute appears as a sort of tooltip when you keep your mouse over it
  • Search engines don't use text in the title attribute for retrieval or ranking; not for the page the title attribute appears or nor for the linked paged
  • Adding a title attribute is really a no-brainer: it takes seconds and if it makes sense in context, go ahead and add it
    • making your site better for users is almost always a good idea

If you liked this you might enjoy Does Google Index My # Anchor Links?

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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5 Responses to “Does Adding A Title On My Links Help With Ranking?”

  1. Personally, I believe it can/does hold some minor influence.

    It may only be a % in the large scale of things, but I believe G do reference it in the SEO Guide they produced.
    Whetehr it is picked up for the containing pages relevance, or the destination (which to my mind would be more logical), no idea.

    I will have to test it to prove it mind you :D

  2. Leo says:

    Useful info, thanks! If its not good for SEO (or if Google doesn't index it), does not mean it is not good idea to add titles to links.

    It is beneficial from the user's perspective and that is precisely what Google likes. Besides, I personally think that it is a good practice to fill-up all the fields for links, images and everything else. The fields are there for a reason!

    • Ruud Hein says:

      We're on the same page there, Leo.

      First, doing things right the first time prevents you from having to go back later and do it all over again.
      Second, doing it right means someone somewhere will appreciate it and come back to your site. My title attribute can be that *one* factor that decides someone comes to me instead of the other site.
      And finally third — all elements in ranking algorithms are variables, the weighing of which they can turn up or down at will ;)