What's Better? Image Based Links or Text Links? What About in H1 Tags?

Aug 29, 2007 • 7:14 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under SEO - Search Engine Optimization
 

A very interesting discussion has emerged on WebmasterWorld about link equity from images or text links. What's better? Do image links pass PageRank? Do they imply trust?

According to moderator pageoneresults, both links pass equity, but image links are not as efficient as text links.

Most all links pass value. Its the level of value that is in question. A textual link is at the top of the food chain, it doesn't get any better than that. Image links are okay and perform well. Image links that are formatted properly and utilize accessibility attributes like the alt attribute are going to perform better than those that don't.

But then pageoneresults goes on to say that links that are enclosed in <h#> tags are better than regular text links. And that response evokes harsh criticisms from other users that doing so would be purely to manipulate the search results.

The discussion gets heated with members on both sides of the argument claiming that it may or may not be an issue of ethics and manipulation. But what do you think?

Forum discussion continues at WebmasterWorld.

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Comments:

Amit Verma

08/29/2007 11:29 am

Search engines prefer text links... I think..

Michael Martinez

08/30/2007 12:18 am

People are abusing H1 tags and the search engines as much aware of the typical SEO advice to use them as the rest of us. Generally speaking, I don't think it's a good idea to use H1 tags to embed link anchor text. The H1 header is supposed to be used to headline or describe the purpose of the page on which it has been found. Using an H1 to pass enlarged, bolded link anchor text is a pretty obvious attempt to optimize another page.

Paul Adkins

09/10/2007 01:54 pm

The problem with using the H1 link trick is it may pay off now but you may be penilised by the search engines in the long run. But some people will still do this and what happens to those that don't they lose ranking unless they adopt the same underhand tactics. What results is an arms race of underhandedness...

dodito

09/16/2007 04:42 pm

Turning to the first half of the question: all links pass value but some more than others: instead of either or.. a more common situation is BOTH especially for the home page (logo + navigational menu text link). If your logo comes first, does it mean SE's won't look at the text link after ? Would you choose not to use the alt tag for the logo ? Does it really matter (I cannot possibly imagine, it would matter, several text links to your home page is one thing (although that too could be for usability purposes) but an image link + text link ? Any opinions of that ?

Bryan

09/28/2007 05:04 pm

The H1 tag is intended to describe the title/main content of the current page. A link within an H1 tag semantically says: "The most important part of this page is a totally different page". I would think that any good SEs don't view this kindly.

Bryan

09/28/2007 05:05 pm

The H1 tag is intended to describe the title/main content of the current page. A link within an H1 tag semantically says: "The most important part of this page is a totally different page". I would think that any good SEs don't view this kindly.

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