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For usability purposes, entire article thumbnail is wrapped to a link.

<a href="/some_article">
   <h2>Article title</h2>
   <div class="summary">Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet</div>
</a>

User needs to click on any place of a thumb and it will be redirected to article.

Does this approach have some negative effect to SEO ?

Another question:

What is more valueable for Search Engine ?

Just a link to article in articles list

<a href="/article1">Article 1</a>
<a href="/article2">Article 2</a>
<a href="/article3">Article 3</a>    

Or h2, wrapped to link:

<a href="/article1"><h2>Article 1</h2></a>
<a href="/article2"><h2>Article 2</h2></a>
<a href="/article3"><h2>Article 3</h2></a>    
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migrated from stackoverflow.com Feb 20 '11 at 20:45

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Does this approach have some negative effect to SEO ?

I'd say it is neither positive nor negative. There's so much content in the hyperlink that whatever keywords are present are going to be too diluted to have any value. But doing this isn't bad for any reason, either.

Just a link to article in articles list

Or h2, wrapped to link:

Unless they're headings there's no reason to wrap them in H2 tags. Don't use markup for what it isn't for. Do things the right way, not because you think it will make search engines happy. Not coincidentally the right way is usually what makes the search engines happy.

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It also makes sure you won't be punished by search engines for "over-optimization" (read: being spammy), which wrapping arbitrary links in h2 would definitely qualify as. –  Lèse majesté Feb 20 '11 at 21:13

Negative SEO effect?

Nobody knows, but this is what Matt Cutts has said: "if you can design and write your HTML code so that it’s well-formed and validates, it’s always a good habit to do so." So that should be your first priority.

Remember, more prominent links may get more link juice

Now there's a separate issue that you didn't ask about, but is related, which is whether "big links" count more than small links. There is a Google patent around this commonly referred to as the "reasonable surfer," and in essence, it suggests that the traditional PageRank distribution formula may be weighted by the visibility of a link, which could be anything from font size and color to placement horizontally or vertically. So in theory, all else equal, a link styled with H2 would get more link juice (assuming no CSS styles override native H2 meaning).

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