Should You Stop Putting the Title Attribute in HTML Link Tags?

After WordPress updated to version 4.2 in April 2015, I discovered one change that really drove me crazy. In the dialog box that comes up when you’re adding a link to a web page, they changed the field where you could enter the link’s Title attribute to one where you enter the text you want to be the link.

This was a pain since I always add Title attributes to my links because I’ve always been told it’s important for giving users a preview of where you’re taking them as well as for SEO. And while both factors can be addressed by making the linked text as explicit as possible (never use “click here”!), I still thought it was considered a best practice. So now I was having to manually add the attribute for every link in a page.

So I was really excited when I came across a tweet that linked to an article called “How to Restore the Link Title Attribute Removed in WordPress 4.2” from the WordPress development experts at WPMU Dev. But as I read the article, I was surprised when it gave a whole bunch of reasons why you shouldn’t use that attribute at all!

Apparently, not only is the title attribute NOT an important ranking factor in the Google search algorithm, but it’s actually discouraged by both web standards bodies and accessibility experts. Huh.

Given the source, I’m quite happy to accept this information without doing any further research (not to mention it’s going to save me a whole lotta time!), but you should read the full article yourself if you’re not convinced.

However, there is one part of the change I still don’t like that I will be submitting as a feature request to the WordPress developers. When the field was for Title, if you selected an existing post or page to link to, that field would automatically populate with the title of the post/page. Now, it just stays blank. While it makes sense not to populate the link text if you’ve already selected it before clicking the Link button, it would be a big help to put the post title as default text if not.

Also, they really need to do something about bumping you back to the top of the post after adding a link!

Today’s 2015 Blogathoner Featured Blog: Never Pity the Past

Brandee C. (username Branflakez) describes her blog as “Ramblings from a Librarian and Reluctant Roleplayer.” Some recent posts:

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