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#1 lee.n3o

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:57 AM

Hey :wave: ..

I have a slight gripe with the "title attribute" on links... I know that SEO people have abused the hell out of it, but do you really need to have the title attribute on every single link??

Personally I always understood it that if the actual 'anchor text' didn't explain where the link linked to - Then you should use the 'title att'

For example (And god forbid) if someone put "blah blah blah blah Click Here" ... then thats a valid time to use it, as it doesn't explain where the link is going or what it is?

People seem to be putting it on full text links now as well, so you hover on a link saying for example "View my portfolio page" or something similar .. Then you get the yellow box saying exactly the same :) ... Personally I think its over kill and a touch annoying!!

Just wondering what you accessibility people views are on this??

Thanks

#2 Adrian

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 06:16 AM

Yes, putting the same text in the title attribute, as inside the actual <a> tag is a waste of time :) And no accessibility benefit at all.

#3 bwelford

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 07:04 AM

The Title attribute to an image has no SEO value either.

Edited by bwelford, 12 March 2007 - 07:04 AM.


#4 Adrian

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 07:42 AM

A little extra on the subject

#5 lee.n3o

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 07:54 AM

Yes thats exactly what I thought.... Thanks for the confirmation adrian.... I tried to tell a client this, but they put doubt in my mind and was adamant that their old 'Developer' told them that every link HAD to have it :hmmmm:

I thought what I was saying was correct... thought I had better back it up on here just in case I had said the wrong thing.. :)

@ Barry - What I do find funny on this subject, if you see alot of the smaller SEO firms or people "advertising" themselves as SEO's - When you check their portfolio you see that have every single link with a title attribute really using the keywords... :nerdo: ... Its people like that who tell the clients its a must when they really don't know what they are going on about ... Wow that turned into a mini rant :boxing:

Even when I first started, I'd never tell a client something I hadn't read up on or check here first ... How do they stay in business??

#6 Lyle

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 09:27 AM

How do they stay in business?


The ones you refer to stay in business in much the same way that some nong with a copy of DreamWeaver can suddenly call themselves a 'web designer' - because they target people with even less knowledge than themselves.

How do you spot 'em ? Well, when you have a conversation with one of them, and as soon as they're out of their depth, they start trying to tell you that what you know is how it used to be, but that things have changed recently... Or alternatively just tell you that you don't know what you're talking about.

Both options are normally followed (in my experience) by the sound "Ow!" as I boot them out the door...

The other (more fun) option when you know you're being bulls**ted, is to up the bulls**t quotient by telling them something that's *completely* made-up, and watching them nod and try to add knowing comments to something that is complete, utter balls. Heh.

#7 kdfisher

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 10:40 AM

I use the alt image tag for more information on a product in attempt to keep the page clear of "clutter" Does that look sloppy? I have kept it to a one line minimum to make it look a bit more professional. I kind of got the idea from the "Don't Make Me Think" book. Unfortunately Firefox doesn't allow it to show on mouseover.

Ooopps, title not image..

Edited by kdfisher, 12 March 2007 - 10:42 AM.


#8 lee.n3o

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 11:55 AM

LOL @ Lyle... I wouldn't have expected any less of a reply from you :lol:

@ kd - Yes fella.. Title att not the alt tag ;)

#9 BillSlawski

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 01:21 PM

Sadly, the title attribute will work on more than just links. It will work on:

a, abbr, acronym, address, applet, area, b, blockquote, body, br, button, caption, center, cite, code, col, colgroup, dd, del, dfn, div, dl, dt, em, embed, fieldset, font, form, frame, frameset, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, iframe, img, input, ins, kbd, label, legend, li, link, listing, map, noframes, noscript, object, ol, option, p, pre, q, s, samp, select, small, span, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, textarea, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, var.


One of the sad things about the HTML specifications is when different things share the same name, and cause the ability to confuse people.

Title element = Good
Title attribute = ?

Fun article on the subject (where I got the list of elements from above):

The Title attribute - what is it good for?

I know someone who decided that it wasn't a bad idea to use title elements for all of those elements that they found on a page in the belief that it would help them with search engines. When I saw the HTML for their page, it gave me quite a shock. I convinced them that the titles weren't helping them with the search engines or with readers using assitive technologies.

#10 lee.n3o

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 02:02 PM

Thats a fantastic link Bill thanks.... I will be using that tomorrow to put a few wrongs ... right!!

#11 Lyle

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 03:38 PM

Happy to oblige, lee. :lol:

#12 Ron Carnell

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 04:47 PM

Sadly, the title attribute will work on more than just links. It will work on ...

Sadly, Bill? Actually, I find the title attribute to be very user friendly and include it on DIV elements all the time.

Here's a for-example.

<div id="breadcrumb" title="You are here!">
	<a href="/">Home</a> &gt;
	<a href="/category">Top Category</a> &gt;
	<a href="/subcat">Sub Category</a> &gt;
	Title of this item
</div>

The links in the breadcrumb tell them where they've been, but pointing anywhere in the breadcrumb DIV explains what the whole sequence is meant to represent. You'd be really surprised how many Web neophytes don't know what a breadcrumb is.

Here's another example of using the title attribute:

<form>
	<p>Your Name: <input type="text" name="fullname" size="20" title="Please enter your full name, first name then last"></p>
<p>Comments: <textarea rows="3" name="comments" cols="20" title="Type just as you would in a word processor, hitting enter to create new paragraphs."></textarea></p>
</form>

Of course, any instructions that are important should be visible, not just a mouse-over, but I nonetheless use title attributes on many form elements to explain to the neophyte what is usually very obvious to the more experienced surfer. It doesn’t hurt and sometimes it helps.

I have even used the title attribute on links (gasp), again usually when it might help a neophyte better understand something you and I grasp immediately. An example of that might be a TOP link spread throughout a page. It's standard enough that we certainly don't want to invest a lot of screen real estate in a long "Go to top of page" anchor, but I honestly think a title attribute can help explain it to that one person in ten thousand who has never seen a TOP link before. Again, it doesn't hurt and sometimes it just might help.

Where title attributes really come in handy is for Easter Eggs. :lol:

I often hide several "hidden features" in web sites I design, some functional and some just fun, something most of my regular community have come to expect. The title attribute gives them a fighting chance of finding them all.

#13 BillSlawski

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 05:03 PM

Sadly, Bill? Actually, I find the title attribute to be very user friendly and include it on DIV elements all the time...


And your uses are creative and helpful, Ron. And I do agree that a lot of that text should be visible.

I've seen them seriously abused though..

I'm definitely all for someone using title tags as easter eggs.

#14 Ron Carnell

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 06:05 PM

It occurs to me I did something similar to my breadcrumb example above here in the forums, too. If you're in a skin other than a Traditional, the DIV to the right of the posts, where there are links for PM, Card, Edit, etc, has a title attribute set on it. So does the DIV reserved for the Signature.

Nothing like documenting the obvious, uh? :lol:



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