Let's say I have the below hyperlink:

<a href="http://www.example.com" title="title text">link link</a>

It is good SEO practice to ensure that the title text is exactly the same link text? I.e. I would change the above link to:

<a href="http://www.example.com" title="title text">title text</a>

I know that the best practice is to have keywords in both, but does it do any harm if they are not identical?


Stop it. Stop thinking like a keyword spammer.

The title attribute in anchor tags serve a very specific and vital purpose. It conveys extra information to users about a given link. It's spoken by screen readers and displayed to other users as a tooltip. Provide a useful title attribute, or don't use it at all.

Any marginal SEO advantage you gain from keyword stuffing your title tags or optimizing your title tags for a particular search engine's algorithms is going to be offset by the loss of usability to human-beings.

Design your website for people, not search engines. If you do that, then the SEO will take care of itself.

  • Thank you for the lesson. I think you have spent way too much time reading Google's documentation about being "ethical". In the real world that doesn't always get results. And by the way, I'm not asking about how to keyword stuff and this has nothing to do with spamming, I'm asking a technical question regarding semantics and how an algorithm might compare these two elements of text. Such information might be considered rather useful to a company engaging in a large scale link building campaign.
    – BradB
    Oct 16 '10 at 13:51
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    Yes, what does Google know about search engine optimization... And clearly placing emphasis on usability is purely about ethics. Christ, I'd hate to be the company investing in a "large scale link building campaign" without understanding fundamental SEO principles--such as that quality SEO doesn't come from micro-optimizations for specific search algorithms. You may as well build a link wheel for all the good it's gonna do you in the long-term. Oct 16 '10 at 14:08
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    It's refreshing to see this answer given. At one time you were an a**hole and a fool is you told someone this. I'm glad times are changing.
    – John Conde
    Oct 16 '10 at 14:23
  • èse: Elements such as the hyperlink in my original post are interpreted by computer algorithms when indexed, not by a human demonstrating judgement and fair decision making. Therefore semantics and micro-optimisations do matter. Google may tell you to build a wonderful website with great content and traffic will come, but in practice that isn't always true. If you think it doesn't make any difference whether or not these values are different then just answer no. At no point did my question read "how can I stuff as many keywords possible into my hyperlinks?" So save the rhetoric.
    – BradB
    Oct 16 '10 at 14:36
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    @BradB I don’t understand how you are carrying on the discussion, to me this answer is exactly the same answer as the one selected as correct...you took way too personally the advice to stop thinking as a keyword spammer
    – Raul Reyes
    Dec 30 '17 at 0:56

I use the title tag as a tool tip with additional information for the user than just the anchor text. I am not sure if title being identical to anchor text has any search engine benefits, I doubt it though.

If the tooltip is the same as the anchor text, it will be an minor annoyance for the user who is probably expecting more information.


Where did you read this?!

best practice is to have keywords in both

  1. Stuffing titles attributes with keywords is irrelevant in the best case and it will punish your site in the worst case.

  2. It does not harm at all if they are NOT identical.

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