With the recent launch of WordPress 4.2, there has been a lot of E-Discussions about the removal of the hyperlink title attribute. Many people asked, does the hyperlink title improve Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The title attribute offers the user information about the element for which it is set. When a user scrolls over the element, a short message appears to tell the user a description of the linked resource. In short, this little title, allows you to let the users know where they will be redirected when they click on the link.
The Argument Against The Hyperlink Title
According to Drew Jaynes, who led the Word Press 4.2 development cycle, the title was removed because the attribute carried little weight on Search Engines and because it didn’t promote good accessibility.
And we agree with many involved in this ongoing debate. If you are using hyperlink titles incorrectly, the above two statements are true.
The focus needs to be placed on ensuring that titles are being implemented for users and not only for search engines. The major search engines dislike keyword stuffing, which is commonly used in hyperlink titles. Hence why title attributes might not be given much weight in ranking.
However, if used correctly, titles are incorporated to enhance the user’s experience on the site.
Using Hyperlink Titles Correctly
When using a title, it is crucial to ensure that it is not a duplication of your anchor text. A title should be used to provide additional information about the link. The title should be embedded to benefit users by providing them with a brief keyword phrase to explain where the link will take them. If you are really good, you will use optimal keywords to encourage them to click, and to provide a gateway to relevant links. Keep in mind that these relevant links can be your checkout page or simply just an article that you think the user might enjoy.
Using titles correctly can, in fact, benefit SEO. If used properly – that is with optimal keyword phrases, and without keyword stuffing – it encourages users to CLICK. And, when users CLICK, your click-through rate improves. And when your click-through rate improves, so does your bounce rate, your conversion rate and your SEO campaign. Also keep in mind that users enjoy friendly, easily navigable websites. They enjoy saving time by not clicking on irrelevant links.
So instead of abolishing the hyperlink title, let’s work on using it properly to benefit our users and to increase its accessibility by making it compatible with touchscreen interfaces.
If you are a WordPress user, who feels that they can properly use the hyperlink title function to benefit your users and boost your SEO campaign, use the Restore Link Title Field plugin developed by Samuel ‘Otto’ Wood and Sergey Biryukov.