I've tried searching and read the Questions that may already have your answer list, but couldn't find an answer.

This is about a category page that lists products in it, you click one and go to the actual product page (not sure if there's a common term for that kind of pages). I worked with a person some time ago who claimed that it's better to, where possible, wrap the thumbnails and item names with one common parent anchor <a> tag.

Here's an example:

<a href="/product1">
    <img src="/product1.jpg" alt="Product One">
    <h4>Product One</h4>

vs. the traditional

<a href="/product1">
    <img src="/product1.jpg" alt="Product One">
    <a href="/product1">Product One</a>

Let's say we can style them both equally and there's no difference from that perspective, what would be better for SEO?

  • Both are valid... it comes down to what one you prefer and makes sense. If the elements related to the resulting page then it is completely acceptable to wrap those elements in a <a> element... this was written in HTML5 spec several years back. Dec 26, 2016 at 20:53

2 Answers 2


When there's no anchor text, most crawlers default to looking at the image's alt tags for a description.

If you're not using alt tags, I would imagine most crawlers default to scraping just the anchor text.

  • We are using the alt tags, thanks, edited my quesiton Dec 22, 2016 at 12:50

i would say, use the second variant. The first variant sends mixed signals from a title, img alt and h4. The clearest variant would be:

<section id="p1" class="div p">

<h4 class="h4 p">Product One</h4>

<img class="img p" src="/product1.jpg" alt="Product One">

<a class="a p" href="/product1" title="Product One">Product One</a>


In this variant you send pure signals from all of three entities: heading, image and link

  • 1
    There is absolutely nothing wrong with using headers, images and so forth within a <a> element. If the header and image are related to the link then they are completely valid... Google will associate both with page content and the resulting path, also Title does not clash with Alt... its a completely different attribute. Dec 26, 2016 at 20:52
  • it is not about right, wrong, valid or non-valid, it is rather about more or less clear.
    – Evgeniy
    Dec 26, 2016 at 22:20
  • 1
    More clear about what?... markup has little to no real role in rankings. Page signals are established from a vast amount of actual real page content not the elements themself... elements MAY help Google and other search engines understand the content, nothing more... Google can make sense of content with or without elements. That's how you sometimes see TXT, PDF and other formats in the search results which have no HTML markup. The correct method is to use the method that users will want... and not the search engines. Dec 27, 2016 at 11:51
  • So in most cases... in both SEO and from a UX stand point... elements within <a> trumps multiple a, or singular a. Dec 27, 2016 at 12:00
  • 1
    Clear about meaning. Like in any language you can write like Kafka or like Hemingway. You don't know for sure, whether the markup elements themself and, specially, their order do play a role, it is better to code clear
    – Evgeniy
    Dec 27, 2016 at 14:03

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