Title Tags Influence Over Outbound Links

Jan 12, 2011 • 8:43 am | comments (19) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Link Building Tips & SEO

A WebmasterWorld thread has discussion on the topic of the influence over a page's title tag and the outbound links on that page.

In short, we all know that anchor text plays a role on the way the linking page ranks for that keyword phrase. So if I link to page A using the keyword Big Blue Pineapple Chair, it would help the page rank for that keyword phrase in Google.

But what if you link to that page by saying, "read more here" and the title of the linking page was Pineapple Chair, would that help?

Most SEOs would believe it would. Google and other search engines look at the context and theme of a page and then may pass that theme to the pages that page links to.

The thread asks:

I've heard some talk about the importance of the referring page title tag and how this may become more important than the anchor text. Has anyone done any test to confirm/disprove this. I think this is supposedly already live and running. Seems this place more importance on relevance, which I've been able to confirm (with respect to links).

WebmasterWorld's administrator replied:

While I haven't run a stand-alone test for this idea, I do analyze backlinks for maybe several thousand sites over a year's time. I see this principle in action over and over again - it's the context of the linking page that best sends "theme" juice to the link target, and yes,that includes the Title element of the linking page quite naturally, as well as nearby text on that page.

What do you think?

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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01/12/2011 01:50 pm

Wouldn't this just come under relevance of the linking page? For example, if you had a link from a page with no particularly content relevance except for the title tag, would it help?


01/12/2011 01:53 pm

Oops - that should have said 'no particular content relevance'. By the way, when did Search Engine Roundtable get the new look? (I should come by more often - obviously)

David Eaves

01/12/2011 03:42 pm

I am pretty sure that a title on a link will have a similar effect to anchor text.


01/12/2011 04:46 pm

I agree that this must be an important way for google to analyze how much weight to pass through a link. By passing more juice to the link target on pages with similarly themed content, it further diminishes the value of spammy links from non-relevant content such as followed blog comments on a random blog.


01/12/2011 04:55 pm

It'll absolutely help. This is not news, the relevance of the linking page matters big time. I like to think of it like this. To rank well on the term "blue widgets" your ideal links will contain the anchor text "Blue widgets" but ALSO be from pages that themselves rank well for the search term "blue widgets". You'll find advice dating back to 2000 or 2001 saying that, when building links, what you want to do is search for your keywords plus phrases like "submit url" or "add url." which is another way of saying, find sites that are relevant to your topic, rank well on keywords for your topic, and accept link submissions.

Barry Schwartz

01/12/2011 04:56 pm

Never said this is "news." Just a thread I thought SEOs would find interesting. Obviously not all SEOs.

Uri Lederman

01/12/2011 05:07 pm

we all say the same thing... Not all links are created equal.. This is just a version on how to optimize inbound links.. :-)

Samir Balwani

01/12/2011 05:41 pm

Why not closest tag instead of page title? I feel like that would be a lot more contextually relevant.

Ingo Bousa

01/12/2011 06:00 pm

Relevance & Authority Relevance & Authority Relevance & Authority Relevance & Authority Relevance & Authority ..should I say it again? ok.. Relevance & Authority A 'read more here' link from a relevant, highly authorative page should be worth more than a 'Big Blue Pineapple Chair' link from an article directory landing page. Well.. at least in theory. And you know why I'm right? Because it makes sense not just in the SEO world but also in reality.

Alistair Lattimore

01/12/2011 11:16 pm

Shaun Anderson of Hobo Web fame ran some tests on anchor title attributes, acronym & abbr tags in June 2010 and he concluded at that time that the title attribute didn't make any difference.

Mário Luan

01/13/2011 12:20 am

There are a lot of factors that influences on how the link will be indexed. This is just another factor. Sometimes these factors appear right in front of our eyes.


01/13/2011 08:57 am

I enjoyed reading this as well as some of the responses. I guess I would agree that a link is beneficial but using a keyword as the anchor text promotes the keyword for that page too? I was also just reading something else interesting about having too many links on one page.

luiz almeida

01/13/2011 02:12 pm

Well, I confess I never thought about, but make a lot of sense to SEO have title tags that influences the external links. It make sites more consistant and avoid some problems about link farms and etc.


01/15/2011 11:16 am

According to my opinion keyword phrases a in anchor text is very helpful for page ranks.


01/17/2011 10:00 am

This is like being back at school where getting even the merest smidgeon of praise from the top person, is worth a heck of a lot more than specific praise from a nobody.

cast statue

01/19/2011 06:59 pm

anchor text is very important for outboard links, i think

Brian B.

02/08/2011 02:42 pm

Anchor text affects the page your linking to more than from. If you want to rank limit your outbound links with anchor text you want the linking page to have.


04/13/2011 08:43 pm

Absolutely! Google determines relevance of a page in large part by looking at the title tag. A link from a page with your kw in the title tag is a quality link. The more authority of that page, the better. The fewer outgoing links on the at page, the better. Cap it all off with a nice kw contextual link (anchor text) and you've hit the jackpot.

SEO Professionals

08/15/2011 11:39 pm

The Title tag is thought to be the highest on-page ranking factor and having your keywords toward the beginning of the title is best". Having keyword in the url also another on-page ranking factor.

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